With a quick google search you will come across a number of sites that breakdown the components of balanced eating. Here is a quick summary because I want to leave time to address, in my opinion, an equally important aspect of balanced eating.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Pick a variety of colors to get a balance of different vitamins and minerals.
- Choose whole grains. Whole grains have more fiber and vitamins than processed grains. Fiber and vitamins are good for digestion and energy, among other things.
- Opt for lean proteins. Leaner proteins have less saturated fat.
- Healthy fats are important for heart health and should be consumed in moderation.
And every client I’ve had can recite the above word for word, but some still struggled with the advice. I think it’s because most sites that talk about balanced eating stop there, and readers are left to believe they must achieve this perfect diet, that is a balance of all the “good” stuff, to be healthy. Yes, the foods listed above provide our bodies with proper nutrition and the ability to function effectively. Yes, they can reduce our risk of developing chronic disease and fatigue, and yes they can increase our ability to fight off infection. It is REALLY good information, and important to understand and apply to daily life. But what about all those other foods out there?
The pizzas! The pies! The pinot!
THIS is what I want to address: the importance of balancing the healthier choices with the more indulgent options. We do not need a perfectly balanced plate, at every meal and snack, to be healthy. In fact, I would argue the opposite. The truth is we don’t always eat intentionally with nutrition in mind. Would you agree? It’s not a realistic expectation. We eat for many other reasons, because we are socializing, celebrating, or stressing and these situations are usually paired with indulgent foods. This is OK! In these moments please indulge, enjoy, and most importantly do it guilt-free.
So you got to this post by clicking on “what can balanced eating do for you?”
- All the things listed above PLUS
- It can help you sleep better
- It can help you achieve or maintain a healthy weight
- It can help you manage blood sugars and hormones (think hunger hormones!)
Want to know more or have any questions? Contact me here.
Photo by Kristina Paukshtite