What Is A Good Balanced Diet? | 24 Mantra Organic

What Is A Good Balanced Diet?


What Is A Good Balanced Diet?

Health and Nutrition

A balanced diet should meet all the nutritional requirements of a person. It should contain all the nutrients in the required amounts and in the right proportion.

Balanced diet varies based on the physiological stage

A balanced diet varies with the physiological stage of the person. It differs from a child to an adult and it is different for a pregnant or lactating woman. A senior citizen will have a different set of requirements to be met (1, 2).

Balanced diet differs based on medical parameters

If a person has a chronic disease such as hypertension or diabetes a few changes have to be made in the diet. For a person who has hypertension, salt-containing foods have to be limited and for a person with diabetes, simple sugars have to be avoided and complex carbohydrates have to be included.

A balanced diet for each person varies based on the person’s individual needs.

Energy requirement

The number of calories needed by a person also varies based on several factors such as age, gender, physiological stage and physical activity. But in general, a balanced diet must provide around 50—60 % of the total calories from carbohydrates, about 10-15% from proteins and 20-30% from fat (2).

The three macronutrients carbohydrates, proteins and fats provide energy. When including carbohydrates, we should make sure that most of the carbohydrates should be complex, not simple. And while including fats we should remember that fats include visible and invisible fats because most foods contain fats too.

Alcohol also provides calories but because of the side effects, it is not considered as a nutrient.

A balanced diet also should contain foods which provide micronutrients minerals and vitamins. Without the micronutrients, the macronutrients cannot be utilized properly in the body. These micronutrients play an important role in the reactions which take place in the body while utilizing the macronutrients in the body.

Non-nutrient components of a diet

A balanced diet should also supply other non-nutrients such as dietary fibre, antioxidants and phytochemicals. These constituents may not be nutrients but these provide plenty of health benefits. And without these essential non-nutrients, a person cannot stay healthy.


Food groups

We should include foods from the following four food groups

  • Cereals, millets and pulses
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Milk and milk products, egg, meat and fish
  • Oils, fats, nuts and oilseeds


Food groups based on function

Foods can be divided into groups based on what they do in the body

Energy giving foods

Cereals, millets, pulses, sugar, nuts, oilseeds, fats and oils

Bodybuilding foods

Pulses, nuts, oilseeds, milk and milk products, meat, poultry and fish

Protective foods

Foods that provide vitamins, minerals and non-nutrients (dietary fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals). These include vegetables, green leafy vegetables, fruits, milk and milk products, eggs, meat, poultry and fish.

While planning a balanced diet we should keep in mind and choose foods from all the three groups.

A few points to keep in mind while planning a balanced diet

Though there are recommended allowances given, a balanced diet varies for every person. A person’s age, physiological stage, gender and the person’s lifestyle and so many other factors come into play.

We also have to take into consideration a person’s food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities. Because for people with these issues a few foods have to be avoided and the diet has to be planned with foods that can provide nutrients which otherwise the restricted foods would have supplied.

Include whole grains as much as possible and avoid refined flour and polished grains.

Try to include seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Drink plenty of water

Milk is an excellent source of calcium. Include milk and milk products in the diet so that you get sufficient calcium.

If a person is vegan or vegetarian certain foods are restricted, these people should make sure that they include other foods which provide the nutrients they may be missing by removing animal origin foods.

Physical activity

Make sure you get sufficient physical activity because it is an important factor to be healthy.


Final word

The concept of balanced diet differs from person to person based on many factors. A balanced diet should provide all the essential nutrients in required amounts and in the right proportions. It also should provide non-nutrients such as dietary fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals.

Try to get these components from a variety of foods and consume everything in moderation.



  1. National Health Services (2019). Eat well
  1. National Institute of Nutrition (2011). Dietary Guidelines for Indians

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