A balanced diet

Having a balanced diet means eating in such a way that our bodies will be able to get all the nutrients they need to...

+ carry out all the very basic tasks, e.g. breathing
+ maintain and renew our cellular tissue
+ grow more cells
+ think, move, work, etc.

From the few lines above, it might appear we all need the same things, but in real life, there is not any one-size-fits-all recipe. We are all different from one another, and so are our needs.

What nutritionists, the professionals in this field, usually do is to subdivide our need into three groups:

+ First, they think about the minimum amount of nutrients our cells need to continue living. They count it while we are in absolute rest, sleeping; and they call it our basal metabolic rate.
+ Next, they calculate what we will need to grow. This implies both the energetic value of our newly-formed tissues plus the energetic cost of synthesising them.
+ Lastly, they take into account our physical activity, which varies, but can basically be grouped as sedentary, light, moderate, and severe.

Sedentary people spend almost all of their time sitting-down. They move, eventually, but they go somewhere else and sit down there too, as is the case of some slackers that I know. You can include in this group some students and office workers; those men and women who just love watching TV, and driving to avoid walking.

People with light physical activity do not move much as is the case of office workers and those housewives who have appliances for almost everything.

People with moderate physical activity work moving, like waiters, but we can also include in this group those men and women who like to go to the gym three times a week, or those housewives who do everything without appliances.

Severe physical activity is self-explanatory. We are talking about people who are workers, farmers, sportsmen and the like.

What may happen if we don't have a balanced diet?

Talking with a nutritionist about this was interesting. The consequence of not having a balanced diet over time is to risk illness. Here are a few examples of unbalanced diet illnesses:


+ In excess, may lead to obesity, caries, and diabetes
+ Lack of, may lead to varicose veins, colon cancer and, associated with lack of fibre, constipation


+ In excess, may lead to kidney problems
+ Lack of, may lead to malnourishment, lack of growth, and kidney problems too.


+ In excess, may lead to hypercholesterolemia, high blood pressure, strokes, and obesity
+ Lack of, may lead to problems in the absorption of some vitamins


+ In excess, and if water-soluble, are usually urinated
+ In excess, and if fat-soluble, may lead to liver problems
+ Lack of, it depends. Actually, the lack of each vitamin may lead to a different condition. Check below:

- B1: Beriberi
- B2: Mucous problems
- B3: Pellagra
- B5: Malnutrition
- B6: Muscular and nerve problems
- B12: Megaloblastic anaemia , anorexia, and diarrhoea
- C: Scurvy, gums bleeding
- A: Night vision problems, keratin issues
- D: Rachitis
- E: Infertility
- K: Coagulation problems


+ In excess, may lead to high blood pressure, and renal failure
+ Lack of, may lead to osteoporosis (calcium), caries (fluorine), anaemia (iron), hormonal problems (iodine)

As you may see, it is important to have a balanced diet. The consequence of not having a balanced diet over time is to risk illness.

Knowledge + Health