Health & Nutrition

The Power Of A Balanced Diet: A Guide To Nutritional Wellness

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on- 30 May 2023, Updated on - 20 July 2023

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A balanced diet provides our bodies with the required vitamins, minerals and nutrients to function optimally. It supports physical health and is crucial to mental and emotional well-being. However, with the abundance of information and fad diets available, it can be overwhelming to understand what a balanced diet truly means. In this article, we will explore what a balanced diet entails and provide practical tips on incorporating it into your daily life. Whether you want to increase your energy levels, manage your weight, or enhance your overall health, understanding and implementing a balanced diet is key.

What is a Balanced Diet?

A balanced diet is a nutritional approach that involves eating various foods from different food groups in appropriate portions. It emphasises the importance of including all essential nutrients to meet the body's needs and maintain optimal health. A balanced diet food list typically consists of the following:


These are the body's primary energy source and should make up a significant portion of your daily calorie intake.


Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes are healthier sources of carbohydrates.

How much do you need?

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for carbohydrates is 130 grams per day. This amount is believed to be sufficient to provide enough glucose to the brain. However, the requirement can change depending on your lifestyle, medical condition, and general state of health.

For instance, an athlete and a pregnant woman may require more carbs per day, however, carbohydrate requirements would reduce for those suffering from diabetes.


Proteins are crucial for tissue repair, muscle growth, and overall cellular function. Protein boosts immunity, aids in metabolic reactions, and maintains pH and fluid balance in the body.


Lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and plant-based proteins such as tofu and chickpeas are rich sources of protein.

How much do you need?

Normally, the recommended daily dose of protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram (Kg) of body weight.

Daily protein requirement (in grams) = Weight (in Kgs) âœ– 0.8

However, this demand may increase during pregnancy or while building muscle mass.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fibre. One should aim to incorporate a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables into your meal to ensure a wide range of nutrients.


Consume fresh seasonal whole fruits and vegetables every day. For instance, during the summer season eat mangoes, lychees, watermelon, eggplant, okra, & cucumber. Similarly, during the winter season, you may consume mustard leaves, fenugreek leaves, spinach, oranges, and apples.

How much do you need?

According to CDC, adults should eat 1.5 to 2 cups of fruits and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables every day.

(1 cup approximately means 200 grams.)

Healthy Fats

Contrary to popular belief, fats are essential for our body's proper functioning. Moreover, healthy fats such as monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) help in lowering the levels of bad cholesterol, fighting inflammation, and enhancing the absorption of vitamins A, D, E & K.


You should only consume saturated fats that are found in avocados, nuts (walnuts, almonds & pistachios), seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, & flaxseeds), olive oil, and fatty fish.

How much do you need?

Fats should account for about 30% of your daily caloric intake.

Dairy or its Alternatives

Your body requires dairy products to ensure optimal levels of vitamin D and calcium. While calcium is required for maintaining bone health, skin & hair health, heart contraction, and nerve function, vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium in the body.


Opt for low-fat options when selecting dairy products or fortified plant-based alternatives such as almond milk or soy milk, skimmed milk, and low-fat cheese. Apart from sunlight, food sources of vitamin D include cod liver oil, egg yolk and mushrooms.

How much do you need?

Your body requires 100g of calcium and 60IU (international units) of vitamin D every day.

How to Achieve a Balanced Diet?

Achieving a balanced diet involves making mindful choices and developing healthy eating habits. Take tips from this guide and incorporate them into your daily routine:

1. Plan Your Meals

Take time to plan your meals and snacks in advance. This allows you to ensure that each meal includes a variety of nutrients and helps avoid impulsive and unhealthy food choices.

2. Portion Control

To maintain a balance between food groups, it is important to be conscious of portion sizes. Utilise smaller plates during meals and pay attention to your body's signals of fullness to prevent overeating, which can otherwise strain your digestive system.

3. Aim to Have a Colourful Plate

Include various fruits and vegetables in your meals. A colourful plate indicates different nutrients, so the more variety, the more nutritional value. 

4. Read Food Labels

Look for foods low in added sugars, sodium, and unhealthy fats. Always look for whole, unprocessed food.

5. Stay Hydrated

Drinking adequate water helps maintain proper digestion, keeps your body hydrated, and supports various bodily functions.

6. Limit Added Sugars and Processed Foods

Minimise your intake of sugary beverages, sweets, and processed foods. These are high in unhealthy fats, added sugars, and sodium.

Why is a Balanced Diet Important?

Adopting a balanced diet is more than just a short-term goal; it is a lifelong commitment to our health and well-being. Here are a few key reasons why a balanced meal is significant:

1. Disease Prevention

A well-balanced diet rich in proteins provides our bodies with essential nutrients and antioxidants, reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.

2. Weight Management

A balanced diet provides the right nutrients while avoiding excessive calorie intake, thereby helping in effective weight management.

3. Enhanced Energy and Mental Clarity

Proper nutrition fuels our bodies and minds, contributing to increased energy levels, improved concentration, and enhanced cognitive function. A balanced diet supports sustained vitality throughout the day by avoiding the spikes and crashes associated with unhealthy eating habits.


By incorporating various nutritious foods in appropriate portions, you can ensure your body receives the necessary nutrients for optimal health. Small changes can make a difference, so start by implementing one healthy habit at a time. Before adding any new food to your diet, it is important to consult with an expert.

Consult Apollo’s Expert Dietician


Medically reviewed by Dr Sonia Bhatt


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