It feels good and exciting to be here once again. It’s a very cold weather here I must say but that does not stop me from sharing with you another lovely important health and scientific topic. We know it, yes! we are familiar with it, yes! But i know we don't know some food combinations to make up a balanced diet in the right proportion. How often do we eat? How often do we eat a balanced meal? How often do we eat a well-balanced meal? Those three questions are in grade and I will like us to carefully read this particular post as we know how to balance our meal daily in adequate and right proportion. Do not forget HEALTH is wealth.
Lets rock and roll. Please stay glued and learn
What does Diet mean?
The word “Diet” is a key word which describes or differentiate between a healthy life and otherwise. Eating a well balanced diet illustrates a healthy living. A well-balanced diet consists of the six classes of food which are
- Carbohydrate (an energy giving food)
Proteins (a body building food)
- Vitamins (which help to fight the body against diseases). Sub-division of vitamins are as follows
Vitamin A (retinol)
Vitamin B (thiamine)
Vitamin B complex (niacin)
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin)
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
Vitamin D2 (calciferol)
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)
Vitamin E (tocopherol)
Vitamin H (biotin)
Vitamin K (prothrombin)
- Mineral/Mineral salt
- Fat and Oil
To omit or ban any of these classes in ones diet is not what makes up a healthy diet but balance balanced diet by consumption in the right proportion of food groups or variety makes up for good health.
What makes up a balanced diet?
This is an energy giving food which powers up the body for strength. Bread, yam, rice, potatoes, cereals, maize are all examples of carbohydrate. Those foods listed are all harvested and produced from grains except potato and yam. One’s diet should contain about one-third of carbohydrate. Choose whole grains most often over refined grains when selection of product of this food groups arises. Whole grains can also be referred to as “unrefined grain/carbohydrate”. Examples of this includes: millet, oatmeal, popcorn, barley, brown rice, buck wheat. A refined grain such as white bread, waffles, rice cakes, pancakes, crackers, white rice etc. in which during milling process they are removed from their outer bran coat and inner germ. They may be refined but are made and produced from whole grains.
The presence of bran, germ and endosperm in whole grain food cannot be overlooked. The excellent source of fiber is the “bran”, the source of protein, minerals and vitamins is the “germ” while the most supply of carbohydrate in form of starch is the “endosperm”. The richness in photo-chemicals and anti-oxidant made the whole grain food far more nutritious than the refined ones and it helps to protect the body or system against diabetes, cancers, heat diseases etc.
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Fruits and vegetables generally are low in energy but are well garnished with fiber, minerals, vitamins and component of protective plant. They are recognized bedrock of our diet because of their health and nutritional benefits. I can say before taking a snack fruits should be considered and also vegetables should always be included in our everyday meal. Eating a lot of fruits and vegetables reduces threats of chronic diseases which includes hypertension, heart diseases and some certain cancers.
The colors of vegetables or fruits are not similar in diverse ways. It contains the blend of phyto nutrients which we refer to as “protective plant compound”. Phyto nutrient guides the body from dangerous root of diseases and also rescues the body from inveterate diseases like cancers. The term “super food” is related to vegetables and fruits because they are highly rich in concentrations of some phyto nutrients (mostly anti-oxidants) which are of pretty advantage to health.
Broccoli: this is a large hardy cauliflower which is well-endowed in beta-carotene and vitamin C. it protects the body from cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Tomatoes and Carrots: a carotenoid pigment (C40 H56) is the red coloring matter of the tomato known as “lycopene” which fights harmful free radicals that often causes cancer. Tomatoes and carrots are well-nourished with lycopene. Most often, heat can be a nutrient killer during cooking and preparation of food. Therefore vegetables should mostly be consumed as raw as possible because of the vitamins attached to it e.g., cabbage, cucumber, raw tomatoes, carrots etc attached to it. The process of over-cooking vegetables is not a practical solution to consume more of its nutrients which the body and system needs.
A more preservative way of retaining vitamins and minerals in vegetables is to do more of steaming rather than boiling. It does not involve water immersion so that its nutrients can be reserved. If you prefer boiling, make sure it is done for a minimum amount of time and make sure little liquid is involved in the boiling process so as to retain the vital nutrients of the vegetable. One of the most essential sources of fiber diet (well balanced) is the fruits and vegetables because it is vital in retaining or maintaining a digestive system that is healthy. There are some fibers that cannot be digested when grain food or vegetables are consumed. These are called “Roughages” and can also be referred to as “bulk”.
Insoluble and soluble fibers are found in food. We can refer to soluble fiber as it name implies; fibers that dissolves in water. Examples of these fibers are in oat bran, nuts, oat products, beans etc. It lowers the risk of heart diseases, maintains the blood sugar and also reduces blood fats.
The fiber that cannot be dissolved in water is known as Insoluble fiber which passes through the digestive system directly. It is mostly found in products of whole grains, vegetables and wheat bran in which the rate at which food passes through the gut is increased.
To digest high-fiber foods can be time consuming i.e it takes a longer time. We can therefore say high-fiber foods keeps one filled for a longer period of time. To lower blood cholesterol and aid the process of digestion is one of the main jobs of the fiber in food. It also helps the development of constipation as well as colorectal cancer to be extremely reduced.
The bowel which is the long tube in the body that helps in the digestion of food and carries solid waste out of the body is prompted by the fiber and it helps to keep the gastro-intestinal tracts spick-and-span. It also aid to degrade the risk of unfolding diabetes.
It is an important part of a healthy diet which is basically needed to repair tissue/cells and also a requirement for growth. Basically, there are two sources where by protein can be gotten. It can either be the animal source or plant source. There is a wide variation between the level and quality of protein in animal and plant cell.
Animal protein: poultry, eggs, meat, fish and diary are sources of animal protein and they can be referred to as complete sources of protein. Essential amino acids needed for the body to function effectively are fully contained in the animal source of protein
Note: to avoid high level of saturated fat which may higher the level of unhealthy cholesterol also referred to as Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) found in the blood, red meat should be eaten in limited amount.
Poultry or fish is a better source of animal protein. Fish rich in oil (tuna, mackerel, sardines, herring etc.) are well nourished in Omega-3 fatty acids in which the hazardous level of cardiovascular diseases development is highly reduced.
Plant protein: The full ranges of vital amino acids are not so contained in plants. It is no surprise vegetarians depend heavily on plant sources for their daily meal enriched in protein. Seeds, vegetables, nuts, beans, soya yields etc., are protein contained food.
FAT, SUGAR AND SALT
For healthy diet, there exist some groups of foods that are to be consumed in minute proportion because they contain very few nutrients which are mostly referred to as “empty calories”. Unhealthy components which include trans-fatty acids, sugar, salt, saturated fat etc., are linked to the food group (biscuits, sweets, crisps, fried food etc.) can be said to be a catalyst which increases the risk of certain diseases. They should only be consumed occasionally.
In transporting fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E and K round the body system, fat is needed. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) and fat soluble vitamins are supplied by fats. EAFs enhance the heart health and also add positive effect to the immune system. It increases the palatability and flavor of food as well. Small quantity of EFAs is essential in our everyday diet to stay healthy. We know so well that excess fat accumulates around the organs most especially in the abdominal cavity. The source of concentration of energy is fat in which people who are trying to reduce their weight should reduce in their diet to help break down their calories.
Types of fat
There are two main groups in which fat can be divided to
Saturated and Unsaturated
Saturated fat: at room temperature it is generally solid mainly gotten from animal sources. It can be contained in cheese, margarine, butter and in ingredients in which biscuit, chocolate, pastries, cakes are baked. The white fat you see on red meat and underneath the skin of poultry is a general example of saturated fat. High consumption of saturated fat results in high risk of heart diseases and blood cholesterol concentrations.
Unsaturated fat: it is basically the opposite of the saturated fat which is majorly liquid at room temperature and gotten mainly from vegetable sources. A healthier alternative to saturated fat is the consumption of unsaturated vegetable oils which can be found in soya, olive oil and in oily food such as salmon, mackerel, sardines etc. Fresh fruits, cereal based food can serve as a key substitute to cakes, snacks, biscuits in other to reduce ones fat level.
The consumption of sugar should be very minimal as they provide no nutrients whatsoever but are great source of energy. There are basically two types of sugar; (added sugar and fine sugar). Fine sugars are the ones found in fruits naturally while added sugars are added to food varieties like breakfast cereals, soft drinks, desserts etc.
Chemically known as NaCl (sodium chloride) in the proportion of about 40% and 60% of sodium and chloride respectively. We can find salt mostly in prepared meals and its consumption in high quantity can result to stomach cancer; high blood pressure and can complicate asthma and also osteoporosis. Sodium composition in salt is essential in controlling the water level of the body, maintains the pH of the blood and aids in muscular contraction. Salt can be found in all food but in different varying proportion.
I cannot imagine a well balanced meal without water as its aids proper digestion. I can vividly say one can live longer with only water than with food alone. Water is a very important component in our everyday diet and it can even be taken without meal most times at any hour of the day. In an adult total body weight, it is estimated that it makes up to 50-70%. Sweat and urine are the by-products of consumption of water and it must be replaced through our diet. Dehydration can lead to symptoms like headache, loss of concentration, tiredness. A chronic form of dehydration adds to health issues like kidney stones or constipation.
At least in a day we need between one and half– three liters of water, so practically the goal is to drink daily six to eight medium glass of water. During exercise or hot weather one will require more intake of water. One practical way to check if your water intake is in the right proportion is through the urine. If the physical appearance of the urine is pale straw color it means the water intake is balanced but if it is dark yellow, I think there is a cause for alarm; one should probably increase the water intake.
Living healthy is a personal choice but we should not neglect the fact that “health is wealth”. In living this healthy life, diet in the right manner is key.
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