No Such Thing As A Balanced Diet?

The often referred to “balanced diet” is actually a misnomer as no such diet exists. This point is highlighted by the fact that a wide range of diverse and nutritionally distinct diets exist that can result in optimal health. There are a number of reasons for this observation, the most obvious one being that many different foods can supply the optimal amounts of nutrients for an individual despite apparently appearing different visually. For example, essential vitamins, vitamins, essential amino acids and essential fats can all be obtained from a large range of foods. Where these nutrients are obtained from is largely irrelevant, and as long as the individual is meeting their requirements, then the diet can be considered “balanced”. Similarly, an “unbalanced diet” can indeed contain a wide range of different foods and so can be defined differently for each individual person. The general rule to ascertain the benefits of a diet is to ask whether the foods within the diet are prone to deterioration during storage. Such foods would include fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, eggs, butter, milk and cheese. These foods tend to be healthy, whereas the foods with long shelf lives such as cakes, biscuits, sugar, processed meat and processed grain, tend to have very long shelf lives and are associated with poorer health outcomes. A balanced diet should contain mainly foods from the former category. 

Eat Well, Stay Healthy, Protect Yourself


About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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