Originally posted on https://www.saturo.com/blog/a-nutritionally-balanced-diet/.
You’ve come to the conclusion that you want to change your eating habits and to make your diet more nutritionally balanced. We congratulate you for that! You’ve taken the most important step towards having a better and healthier life. But what does “nutritionally balanced” even mean? To answer this question we must first look at what a nutrient actually is.
Before we get into the topic, we would first like to say that the idea of this blog post is to be as simple and comprehensive as possible. It’s mainly directed towards people that are just getting into building healthier eating habits. There are volumes of information on the question of nutrition you should definitely check out if you wish to get a deeper understanding.
So what are nutrients? Nutrients are molecules that are found in food and are the building blocks of all living organisms. They give us energy, help us grow, prevent diseases, regulate chemical processes and so much more. Nutrients are basically what sustains our bodies and general health. There are six groups of essential nutrients and they can further be divided into macro- and micronutrients.
The macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins and fats and the micronutrients are vitamins and minerals. What macronutrients do is provide your body with energy. The word “macro” suggest something bigger so people generally concentrate on that when planning out their diet. However, the role of micronutrients is also very important and neglecting them can have quite a negative effect on your health. Now that you have a general idea of what nutrients are, let’s look at what “balanced” means.
Balanced nutrition means that you consume the right amount of calories, macro- and micronutrients on a daily basis. There is a variety of approaches on how you can keep track of your calories and macros. Some people believe that calculating everything precisely is the best way to assure that you’re staying healthy. Others find that this approach isn’t compatible with their lifestyle and view it as a source of stress.
Whichever path you decide to follow it’s still important to have a general idea of how many calories your body needs to support its basal metabolic rate or BMR. The amount indicates the minimum number of calories you need to keep your body functioning. Going under that can have a disastrous effect on your body. The simplest explanation on how to achieve balance in your diet is to focus on adding a variety of nutrients and to stay away from unhealthy fats and sugars.