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Staying healthy: the science behind a balanced diet revealed

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A woman holding oranges
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

We all know how important it is to stay healthy. Keeping your mind and body in great shape will not only help you feel better and live a more enjoyable life, it will also help you avoid having certain medical conditions, like diabetes or obesity. 

While there is a lot of focus rightfully put on physical exercise to maintain health, you should also understand just how essential it is to follow a good diet. You will not be able to stay in the best shape without eating well. Perhaps the crucial thing to understand is that your diet should be balanced to provide all the various nutrients your body needs. By following a diet which offers a good balance of those nutrients, your body will have all it needs to stay healthy.

Some people may have tried changing their diet before and found it difficult to maintain. After all, it is not easy changing the habits of a lifetime and radically altering what you eat overnight. With that in mind, many individuals follow a sensible external diet plan to help them and to get the support they need. The ‘1:1 Diet’ from the people at Cambridge Weight Plan is one that many UK residents follow and is a good illustration of the support that these plans offer. To find out more information about it, head to https://www.one2onediet.com.

Before you do though, it is always good to know a little bit more about how a balanced diet works so you can get the most from it. What exactly are the scientific facts behind it?

It goes deeper than mere calorie counting

Many people think that getting healthier is all about eating less food and exercising more. While this is broadly true, mere calorie counting alone will not have the best effects. This is where a balanced diet comes in. By making sure you follow a diet that includes a wide range of foods from different food groups, it will give your body all it needs to thrive. This, in essence, is the first real secret you might not know – our bodies need a range of food types to stay healthy (fat included!)

What are the major food groups you need to take on?

This is where the science comes in! All foods you can include in any diet sit in various groups. The major food groups are:

  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fat

But what does each do and what are they made of? Proteins are constructed from amino acids and are used by the body to grow muscle and also to repair itself. Protein is found in foods like meat, eggs and fish. Carbohydrates are made from basic sugars and give us the energy we need to go about our daily lives. It is found in pasta, bread and rice. Fat is burnt for energy by our bodies but also helps insulate us against the cold. Made from fatty acids and glycerol it is found in foods like oils, butter and cream.

In terms of science, the basic formula for our bodies making the energy we need is:

Glucose + Oxygen = Carbon Dioxide + Water + Energy

As you can see, this means that the oxygen we get from the air and the glucose from food allows us to make the energy needed to live.

What else do our bodies need to survive?

As well as the major food groups above, we also need a balance of other things in our diet to be healthy. They include:

  • Water to avoid getting dehydrated and to allow our bodies to function normally
  • A variety of different vitamins to boost our immune system and enable normal bodily functions
  • Various minerals such as calcium and iron to keep your body healthy and to help convert food into energy
  • Fibre to help with digestion and to maintain gut health

There is actually quite a lot which goes into a balanced diet and making sure you consume foods which give the right amount of what you need from each food group is important. Each of the elements can then work in harmony to keep you in top shape.

Balancing your diet is key

If you can use the science behind food to follow a balanced diet then it will help you to stay fit and healthy. Our body is greatly affected by what we put into it and this can affect our mental state, too. Hopefully the above has given you an idea of how balanced diets work and why they are so important. Formulating one is not always easy though which is why many people turn to external diet plan companies for help.

 

 
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