A Balanced diet is a wholesome meal that essentially contains all of the basic ingredients needed for sustenance of a healthy life in appropriate amounts. These basic ingredients include Carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, fibre and water. In other terms it is means eating a variety of foods in correct proportions and drinking enough fluids to achieve and maintain weight that is in accordance with the Body Mass Index.
Food groups are broadly classified into five categories a) Fruit and vegetables b) Starchy foods, such as rice, pasta, bread and potatoes c) Meat, fish, eggs and beans d) Milk and dairy foods e) Foods containing fat and sugar. A balanced diet is a meal that contains one portion from each of the five categories.
Figure 1: A pyramid containing the components of a healthy diet.
Diets could be prepared and recommended according to one’s own needs and requirements. Based on different requirements some of the types are as listed below:
These are diets based on religious, spiritual or philosophical beliefs of people who consume it. For example Hinduism and certain sects of Hindus follow a lacto-vegetarian diet that relies on their faith of Ahimsa (non-harming). Such diet includes dairy products like milk in their vegetarian diet. Muslims eat Halal meat where the meat is killed by the Islamic method of religious slaughter. Only such meat is permissible under the Islamic law.
A vegetarian diet is a diet that excludes meat and by products of meat from their diet .Subtypes of vegetarian diet includes Lacto-vegetarian diet, one that consists of milk but excludes egg, a Lacto ovo vegetarian that includes eggs in diet and a Vegan diet that contains vegetarian diet but excludes all dairy products that has milk and eggs.
Weight control diets:
These diets contain foods that are used for specific purpose like weight loss and weight management purposes. Where this is
References: 1) "Woman left brain damaged by detox". BBC News. 23 July 2008. 2) BDA food fact sheet .October 2011. 3) ‘Latest-obesity-stats-for-England-are-alarming’.NHS news, February 2013.