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What are the components of an ideal nutrition chart?
A balanced diet chart should have all the nutrients required for healthy functioning of the body. Here we discuss the foods that help meet the daily nutritional requirements: • Vitamins and Minerals: These nutrients guard us against infections and regulate our body metabolism. Whole fruits and vegetables are packed with plenty of minerals and vitamins. • Proteins: These nutrients play a crucial role in growth, development and bodybuilding. They are also essential for wear and tear of body cells. The richest natural sources of protein include eggs, whole grains, chickpeas, peas, beans, peanuts, milk and fish. Other than protein, milk also adds calcium, vitamins, minerals and carbs to your diet. Whole eggs too are a rich source of essential vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. • Carbohydrates: These nutrients provide energy in the form of glucose that helps to sustain various bodily functions. One should opt for complex carbs like whole grains (brown rice, oats, whole wheat, barley, ragi, jowar, quinoa, etc.), beans, legumes and starchy vegetables. This is because complex carbs take longer to break down and release energy, thereby regulating blood sugar levels in a better way. Complex carbs also contain vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients apart from the calories/energy they provide. One thing to keep in mind about carb intake is portion control. Else, you risk on yourself by consuming excess carbs resulting in weight gain. On the other hand, those seeking to gain weight, the healthy way, can try a combination of whole grains and protein. • Fats: These play a key role in vitamin circulation and hormone synthesis. They also provide energy to the body. Choose unsaturated fats (sunflower/olive/soy oil, nuts, fish, seeds, etc.) over saturated fats (butter, fatty meats, whole milk dairy products, cream, etc.) and trans fats (baked goods like cakes, muffins, pies, cookies, etc.) Apart from healthy fats, nuts and their butters like almond butter, peanut butter also provide fiber, antioxidants and protein.
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