Keys to a Well-balanced Meal

It is a fact that eating healthy is one of the best ways to feel better and live longer. The food we put into our bodies has a direct effect on our physical, mental and emotional state. In a world plagued with fast-food restaurants, sugar and saturated fat, getting the correct nutrients has become even more difficult. If you want to get in shape and get your health back on the right track, you will need to know what foods to buy.

 

It is important to remember that the food pyramid is worth its weight in gold when it comes to getting and staying healthy. There is a reason why the “sweets category” is only allocated a small percentage. As a side note, it is ironic that these foods were placed at the top of the pyramid; although the intent was to demonstrate the fact that sugar and saturated fat products (you know what these are) should be kept at a bare minimum, they have come to dominate the diets of a majority of Americans.

 

What is a well-balanced meal anyways?

 

So what exactly should we be eating? It is important to note that quantity is just as important with respect to the number of meals you eat in a day as is getting enough calories per meal. The age-old understanding that breakfast, lunch and dinner is the foundation for a healthy diet has been challenged in recent years. Many natural health clinic physicians and holistic doctors argue that eating more meals (5-6 a day vs. the big 3) is better. The main reason being that doing so keeps your body full all day. If you eat healthy, you should never feel hungry, and this often happens to those of us who only eat 3 times a day. Going 4-5 hours between meals does not suit the metabolic rates most of us have. Alas, what happens when we get hungry at inconvenient times (i.e. on the go)? Most of us tend to stop at the nearest restaurant and grab a bite to eat. To avoid this altogether, simply eat smaller portions more frequently.

 

Make your meals count

 

To make sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs, including food from each of the main food groups is essential. This includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products and meat. Do so in this order; the bulk of your calories should come from grains, fruits and veggies. Drink one glass of water with each meal as well (this cannot be stressed enough). Keep sodium, saturated fat and sugar intake to a minimum.

 

The keys to eating well-balanced meals are proportions and portions. Follow the food pyramid when cooking and avoid eating three times per day. It really is that simple, but doing this consistently will have major, positive effects on your health.