- Eat all food groups in every meal
- Eating in 3:2:1 proportion can help you have a balanced diet
- It has been recommended by nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar
Eat a balanced diet for weight loss, weight management, good health and strong immunity. We are sure you must have heard this statement many times, coming from health experts, doctors, nutritionists and fitness trainers. Though, it is noteworthy that following the so-called balanced diet is easier said than done. A balanced diet is ideally defined as a diet which includes a variety of different types of food, and provided adequate amount of nutrients that are required for good health. Now this variety needs to be maintained within meals, and not just in all meals in a day.
Why following a balanced diet may not be as simple
Studies have shown that you need to have variety in not just your whole diet, but also within meals. For instance, every meal should include fats, carbs, protein, fibre and probiotics, and the variety should also be across all meals, like having different foods for lunch every day.
According to a study published in BMC Public Health, when people are trying to follow a healthy diet as recommended by their respective health expert or doctor, they tend to place less importance on variety within meals. This means that in order to achive overall balance, they may believe that it doesn't matter to have less or more variety within a meal, as long as you make up for the difference in the next meal.
However, it is important to consider variety in every meal, as studies show that people eat more when foods differ in taste, texture, appearance within the same dish. Every new characteristic that one experiences in food can keep him/her interested in the meal for longer. This can delay the feeling of fullness which normally prompts one to stop eating.
So considering variety with respect to these characteristics can increase the risk of overeating and weight gain. It is because of this reason that eating a variety of foods from the same food group (with the exception of fruits and vegetables), has been linked to higher body weight.
It is important to note that eating different variety of fruits and vegetables will benefit your health. This is because they are low in calories and also incredibly nutritious. So if you want to eat a balanced diet to improve your nutrient intake or lose weight, you need to ensure variety (in terms of different food groups, with the exception of fruits and vegetables) within a meal.
Nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar suggests an interesting way of making your meals perfectly balanced. She proposes the 3:2:1 proportion of eating meals to make your meals perfectly balanced, in one of her Instagram posts. To follow this pattern, you need to fill half of your plate with rice, roti or millets, 35% of it with dal/sabzi or meat, and 15% of with papad/pickle/salad/curd etc.
While it may seem too technical to apply, when you do follow it, you will see that it is the age-old pattern of eating in a way which allows maximum nutrients and also enhances taste.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.