What Is a Balanced Diet and Why it Is Important?

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Sir Robert Mc Carrison, one of the best known nutritionists, says  “The right kind of food is the most important single factor in the promotion of health and the wrong kind of food is the most important single factor in the promotion of disease.”

A nutritionally adequate diet is often called a balanced diet, It should  contain different types of foods in such quantities and proportions that the need for calories, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients is adequately met and a small provision is made for extra nutrients to withstand short duration of leanness. A balanced diet varies according to age, sex, occupation, activity and climate,and should satisfy the taste and desire of the person eating it.

A balanced diet should be economical and should meet the needs of an individual. A balanced diet should include one or more of the food items from all the basic food groups. In order to meet the nutritional needs, so as to prevent nutritional dificiency diseases. 


Dietetic Needs Varies According To Age, Sex and Occupation

individual vary according to age, sex and occupation. By occupation means the type of work done by an individual, whether it is light work, moderate work or hard work or very heavy work. Various types of  physical work are classified in the below three catogories

 Light or Sedentary Work:

Writing, typing, tailoring, teaching etc,   

Moderate Work:

Walking, carpentry, shoe making, light engineering etc.

Hard or Heavy work:

Ploughing, harvesting, blacksmith’s work, mason’s work, coal mining, wood cutting, carryiing heavy load, athletics, sports and gymnastics, 

The energy requirement for various types of work is not the same. The energy requirement of an individual is made up of two components. 

1.. The basal energy requirement for such vital functions as respiration, circulation and digestion etc, the basal metabolic rate is the energy used by an individual during physical, digestive and emotional rest. 

2.  The energy required for the actual physical activities of the individual. This component varies with different types of occupation. The basal requirement of calories can be calculated in relation to one’s body weight. Studies show that (it has been found in studies ) a normal young adult expends basal energy at the rate fo about one calorie every hour for each kilogram of body weight. If your weight is 40 kg, then you require, 1* 24* 4*=960 calories. Thus 960 calories are your basal requirement of energy. If you perform some activity, you will need some additional supply of energy. The additional calories required for various physical activities are given below. 


Additional Calories/Hour in Addition to B.M.R Calories required


Sleeping                                –

Light work                             70

Moderately heavy work        100

Heavy work                           200

Very Heavy work                   300


Minimum Calories Required for B.M.R and Work In One Day


Sleeping about 8 hours                 960 calories (B.M.I)

Light work for about 8 hours         8*70=560 calories

Moderately heavy work for about 8 hours    8*100 = 800

Total calories = 2320 


It is clear that for sedentary work you require much less calories than for moderately heavy work..

If you participate in an athletic meet, you will need immediately a glass of glucose drink to provide for the extra  need of the calories. 

Above measures will help you to easily calculate the amount of calories required for you.and make necessary modifications in your daily diet. 



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