Getting a balanced diet is so much more than just calorie counting. It’s a delicate combination of proteins, carbs, and certain kinds of fats. Depending on your lifestyle, you will need more of certain nutrients than other people. As you do your meal planning, here are some tips to keep your nutrients balanced.
- Start with a balance. Meals and snacks should not contain only proteins, fats, or carbs. Focus on combining a healthy source of each nutrient in combination at each meal for better-balanced sugars, energy, and fewer cravings.
- Include more leafy greens. Leafy greens are high in fiber and in essential nutrients such as potassium, iron, and vitamins A and E.
- Include more complex carbs. Complex carbs should make up about a third of your diet. Some diets discourage carbs and call them “empty calories,” but the truth is that you need the right type of carbs. Complex carbs include fiber, which helps keep you fuller longer, regulates your digestive system and includes more nutrients. A great example of complex carbs is brown rice, which is high in the essential nutrient manganese and has a surprising amount of protein as a bonus.
- Choose low-fat dairy. Dairy is an important part of your meal planning to make sure your nutrients are balanced, but it’s a double-edged sword. Dairy tends to be high in fats, so by choosing low-fat dairy, you can skip the unhealthy stuff while still benefiting from the nutrients such as calcium, protein, and thiamin.
- Be careful about your protein. Protein is essential to building muscle, but it can also contain a lot of fat. Protein is also excessively consumed by most people, which can lead to gout and kidney problems. Seek protein from a variety of sources. Dairy products, eggs, meats, fish, and poultry are the obvious choices, but whole grains, nuts, seeds, and other plant-based products can be used to compliment them to reach your overall protein needs. To know how much protein you should be consuming as part of a balanced diet, check out these nutrition guidelines.
By following these guidelines, you can build a balanced diet with all the nutrients to make your body healthy. To learn more about what nutrients you might need, get a customized and free consultation today.