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Balanced diet advice

What is an ideal diet for an infant, an adult and an old man? Should an athlete eat any special kind of food? Why?
(November 16, 2010)

Balanced diet advice

Dietary requirements are different for each individual and would depend on several factors such as age and activity levels. Therefore, it is obvious that an individual’s diet also changes as he/she ages or with a change in activity levels. Good eating habits should be taught at an early age and so a balanced diet for children is essential as it ensures that the child continues to follow these eating habits even as he/she ages. A balanced diet for children also ensures that they get the nutrients their bodies require during this stage which is marked by significant growth and development.

Nutrition and a balanced diet tend to go hand in hand and one should consume correct and adequate proportions of proteins, fats, fibers, carbohydrates and mineral salts in all the three main meals of the day on a daily basis. A balanced diet for children would contain higher amounts of fats and carbohydrates as they require more energy since they spend a lot of time playing.

So what’s a balanced diet really and how can you decide on a balanced diet plan? A balanced diet does not mean that one has to consume equal quantities of every nutrient, but it means that you consume all the nutrients your body requires in adequate amounts. One needs to consume the right types of drinks and foods as this will supply energy and nutrition to the body to maintain the organs, body cells, and tissues and also for supporting normal development and growth.

A balanced diet for children should ideally include plenty of whole grains which are an excellent source of carbohydrates. Carbohydrate rich foods such as rice, pasta, bread and cereals are known to be excellent energy boosters for children and ensure that they stay active and energized throughout the day. Similarly the diet for children should also include plenty of fresh vegetables which are an excellent source of minerals and vitamins.

Parents should try and retain the nutritional content of these vegetables by microwaving or steaming them and not overcooking them. Fruits are also an integral component of a balanced diet for children in account of their nutritional value. Similarly foods such as fish, nuts, beans, meats etc are also essential for the growth and development of muscles and string teeth and bones in children. The iron that is found in these foods is also required by children for healthy blood.

A balanced diet for children is recommended as it has been seen that children who eat plenty of healthy foods are able to enjoy a better quality of life and are also less prone to health risks as they grown into adults. Proper nutrition is also required by the individual and especially for children for brain development and functioning. A balanced diet for men is also essential as there is an increasing number of men who are suffering from diabetes, heart disease, and other life threatening ailments. Hence those men who intend on living to a ripe old age and have a better quality of life should follow a balanced diet rich in minerals, proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates and other required nutrients. Balanced diet if introduced to children at an early age itself is also known to prevent problems such as childhood obesity and the related medical issues during childhood itself or at a later age.

Submitted by A V on November 16, 2010 at 01:29


Diet for all individuals

Well balanced diet including all the food groups in a meal is an ideal diet for all including infants, adult man, women, and aged individuals and even for athletes. Yes an athlete would definitely have different needs according to her sport type and activity. The kinds of food and the timings are very important to provide adequate glycogen stores and energy while performing in an even. They would in general need to have a pre-game meal for fuel, during event to keep up the energy level and post-game to replete the depleted energy stores. If special care of diet is not taken for an athlete it would surely have an effect on his performance.

An ideal diet for an individual should include foods from all the five food groups in a food pyramid. The basis should be of whole grains cereals and its products from which complex carbohydrates and vital nutrients are derived, after that is pulses, nuts and oilseeds that provide proteins. Milk and milk products, fish, eggs, poultry, lean meat all provides good quality protein but fat too, so should be consumed in moderation. Liberally include fresh fruits and vegetables group in the diet. On the top lies the group of fats and oils and sugars which should be had in least amount. Physical activity forms the basis of any food group indicating its importance along with diet.

Submitted by S M on April 3, 2008 at 05:24


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