Learn the Basics
Author: Fareeha Jay
You can never go wrong with a well-balanced diet; something which I repeat again and again.
Then I get asked “what do you mean by a balanced diet”, and I say just make sure you eat from all food groups.
I’m further asked “what are all the food groups?”, and I say carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables, protein, dairy and fats.
And then again, I’m asked, “we are not sure what comes in carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables, protein dairy and fats”.
So let’s learn the basics.
We must include all the food groups in our diet every day. If we miss out any one food group this means our diet is “Not Balanced”.
What are the food groups?
- Carbohydrates: Rice, Bread, Pasta, Cereals, Potatoes, Sweet Potato, Arvi , Whole grain flour (wheat , barley oats corn rice millet ).
- Fruit and Vegetables
- Protein: Lamb, beef, chicken, fish, eggs, lentil and pulses.
- Dairy: Milk, Cheese, Yogurt.
- Fats: Butter, Oils, Ghee, Spreads.
If you look closely, many of us easily miss out one or the other food group. Not because they are not available at home but because we don’t put enough thought into it.
Our lunch or dinner may comprise of carb and protein OR carb and veg, OR carbs and carbs.
You can easily include all the food groups; it only requires some planning. We don’t have to have all of the food groups in one meal, but we can make an effort to include all the groups throughout the day.
Each food group will give us a different nutrient, essential for our body. Carbohydrates give us energy and B vitamins. Fruit and vegetables are a source of numerous anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals. Protein is important for the structure and function of our cells, muscles and tissues. Dairy gives us calcium but is also a rich source of protein and many other nutrients. Fats help us cushion our body, and they help us absorb Vitamin A, D, E and K. Some fats are good for our nerve function and some are good for our heart health.
Therefore, missing one nutrient cannot make up for the other as its evident that each has its own role to play. Just like running an organisation. An organisation runs successfully only when it has different staff members to do different jobs with different qualifications. Similarly, for the body to run smoothly all these nutrients are required to do their job!
Come on get your body running smoothly!
You’ve learnt the basics now!
I am Fareeha Jay, a registered Dietitian. I have a passion and desire to spread knowledge and awareness about healthy eating and lifestyle. The information I provide is based on scientific evidence but explained in a very non-scientific way. I want to break the myths around diet and food. I never want to give diet plans rather I want to empower people on their food and lifestyle choices, so that people can make their own diet plans for the rest of their lives.