The Essential Ingredients for a Healthy Balanced Meal

A balanced meal is a meal composed of all the various food groups. This is one of the foundations of a healthy diet and good health. This article is here to help you create healthy menus that can meet your nutritional needs.

A balanced meal should include:

Meat, fish or eggs

Why? 

Because these foods are high in protein, which is essential for the formation of our cells and preservation of our muscle mass.
Other virtues: meat, fish and eggs are real nests of vitamin A, B and iron. Each meal should ideally contain 100 to 200 grams of meat or fish, or just 2 eggs, as they are more concentrated in proteins.

Fruits and vegetables

Do you know the nutritionists recommendation? “5 fruits and vegetables a day!”. Fruits and vegetables are preferred sources of carbohydrates and fiber (which improve digestion and can slow the absorption of carbohydrates), as well as vitamins and minerals (both of which have protective effects on the body) .

Starches and grains

We often wrongly demonize starches. Yet they are an excellent source of carbohydrates and therefore energy. They also provide fiber, vitamin B and iron. It is ideal to eat one starchy food per meal.

Dairy products

Products such as yoghurt, milk or cheese are real mines of calcium, which is essential to the strength of our skeleton. But that’s not all: dairy products also are full of protein and vitamins A and B. It is advisable to eat a dairy product per meal for a good balance.

Fat

Contrary to popular belief, you must include a small amount of fat in your menu to make up a balanced meal. Fats contain vitamins A and E and are excellent sources of energy. Opt for vegetable fats and remember to limit your intake.
When cooking your meals for the day, try to keep the following proportions in respect to the optimum daily intake proportions:

  • 15% protein: meats, fish, eggs, dried vegetables (soja, lentils, dried beans), oily seeds (almond, walnuts, cashews, pistachio), whole cereals, bread, rice, pasta.
  • 30% animal and vegetable fat: butter, meat, fat fishes (salmon), dairy, eggs, oils, chocolate
  • 45% complex carbohydrates: cereals (wheat, rice, oat, corn), cereal products (bread, buns), potatoes, lentils, beans…
  • 10% simple carbohydrates: milk, fruit

By following these proportions recommended by health professionals, you will be able to compose balanced meals and have a diet that will meet your energy needs.

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