How to Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet
Upon first delving into the world of nutrition, the amount of information available can certainly be overwhelming. Although there is a lot to learn for those interested, basic nutrition is actually quite simple to understand. So simple, in fact, that you can improve your diet massively just by following these steps.
When we say real food, we mean food that isn’t processed. This includes fruit, vegetables, meats, dairy, seafood, nuts, whole grains and legumes. Natural sweeteners, coffee, chocolate and wine all count too - just in moderation, of course! Try to avoid food that is mass-produced, emulsified (when water and oil don’t separate) or shelf-stable. Predominantly eating real foods leads to a more nutrient-rich diet without much effort.
Everyone loves carbs, but the more natural and whole they are, the better. Opt for complex carbohydrates such as 100% whole grain bread and pasta, brown rice, starchy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, low-fat dairy and lots of fruit and vegetables.
It’s more than okay to indulge in some bacon with your breakfast or a cheeseburger every now and then. However, on an everyday basis, you should opt for lean proteins. Some great meat-free options include tofu, lentils, quinoa, beans, peas, low-fat yoghurt and 1% milk. Fish is another excellent source of lean protein, and is also rich in omega-3. As for meat, chicken and turkey breast tend to be the leanest.
Try adding avocados, nuts and nut butters, seeds and fatty fish like salmon into your meal rotation. Cooking with healthy oils like olive over grapeseed oil, vegetable oil or butter is another great way to get a good dose of healthy fats.
‘Eating the rainbow’ is a great way to incorporate the right nutrients into your diet. From dark salad greens to red berries, orange carrots to white onions, the bright colours in fruits, vegetables and even some proteins are associated with important vitamins and minerals that your body needs.
Eating a measured balance of carbs, protein and fats with each meal is just as important as choosing foods that are rich in fibre, minerals and vitamins. A great way to achieve this is to fill your plate with 3-4 food groups with each portion.
Sugar is pretty harmless in its natural state, and is even necessary for our bodies to function. It can be found in fruit, veggies and dairy as the compound fructose or lactose. However, problems arise when sugar is added to foods during processing for added flavour, texture or colour. Consuming these empty calories too often can be detrimental to your health in a number of ways, the most obvious of which is significant weight gain. Refined sugar can also drive your insulin levels up and mess around with your metabolism, so be sure to eat it in moderation.
When you’re in the mood for a snack, processed foods are often the quickest to grab. Instead, arm yourself with real food snacks that are processed as little as possible for when the cravings hit.
Despite how hard we try to maintain a healthy, balanced diet, sometimes it can still be difficult to get enough of all the nutrients that we need to function properly. Vitamin and mineral supplements are a great way to ensure that you get all of these nutrients that you could be lacking as a result of your diet.
There are a number of popular misconceptions surrounding dietary supplements, namely that they are a harmful ‘meal replacement’ product, or that they shouldn’t be necessary provided that you are eating a healthy, balanced diet. In actual fact, the purpose of supplements is in their name: they are made to ‘supplement’ - in other words, adding something in, in order to complete or enhance it - one’s diet, providing the nutrients your body might need. For example, somebody with an iron deficiency will struggle to get enough iron, even if they consume plenty of iron-rich foods. This can lead to fatigue, shortness of breath and heart palpitations, which is why many people take iron supplements - offering them a strong dose of the iron they need to combat symptoms of anaemia.
Another common reason why a person might choose to take supplements is if they follow a plant-based diet. Due to the absence of red meat and fish in their diet, it’s widely acknowledged that B12 is a vitamin that vegans tend to lack. B12 plays an important role in maintaining a healthy nervous system and forming oxygen-transporting blood cells, which can lead to anaemia and nervous system damage when missing. Therefore, B12 supplements are a vital component of veganism. Additionally, there are naturally other supplements that those following a plant-based diet will want to take that will provide them with the nutrients they might miss out on from certain foods, such as those in meat and calcium.
Supplements typically come in the form of a pill or capsule, but it is possible to purchase them as a powder or liquid that you can mix with other substances (like into a smoothie). The most common compounds that you’ll find in a supplement are minerals, vitamins, fibre, fatty acids and amino acids, all of which can be bought without a prescription. It is, however, important to not take too many supplements of the same type, as this can also impact your body negatively. Most vitamins and supplements will state how often you should take them on the packaging, and this guidance should never be ignored. Some of the types of supplements available include:
- Multivitamins: Vitamins B, C and D are all commonly found in multivitamins.
- Minerals: Potassium, sodium, calcium, iron and zinc are all great for you but are less often found in a typical diet, so they make great supplements.
- Proteins: Typically available in powder form, protein supplements are ideal for increasing endurance, muscle mass and athletic performance.
- Fatty Acids: The most popular fatty acid supplement is fish oil, as it is a great source of Omega-3.
With the demands of everyday working life meaning that time is often in short supply, it can sometimes feel impossible to prepare and eat three healthy, balanced meals a day that contain all of the right nutrients. Fortunately, Pow Food has come up with an excellent solution. With a range of award-winning performance dishes and pantry staples under our belts, we offer healthy, prepared meals that are not only designed to enhance your mental and physical wellbeing but also negate the need for lengthy preparation times. From frozen ready meals to a la carte dishes and smart snacks, we supply everything you need to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Below are just some of the reasons why nutritious ready meal delivery is beneficial for a healthy lifestyle:
We’ve all been there: sometimes the thought of cooking yourself a nutritious meal after a long day is the last thing you need, and it’s often tempting instead to order a takeaway or reach for unhealthy junk food. However, with Pow Food you never have to worry about time constraints. Instead of spending your lunch break or precious evening hours hastily putting together a meal, the convenience of Pow Food’s home delivery is found in its doorstep drop-off and easy-to-prepare meals.
Just because our meals are healthy and nutritious, doesn’t mean that we ever forget about flavour! Our team of culinary specialists are devoted to creating delicious meals which only use the finest, locally sourced ingredients available. Our frozen meals preserve their shelf life without using preservatives, whilst also maintaining their quality, taste and nutritional value.
All of our deliveries are quick and efficient, with snacks, meals and boxes available for delivery nationwide. Carbon-neutral delivery is guaranteed as part of our sustainability commitments, and daily, weekly, monthly and birthday hampers can be ordered at your convenience.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be a time-consuming or expensive venture, and here at Pow Food, we’re here to help make the process that little bit easier. From preparation to delivery, we prioritise healthy yet delicious meals over counting calories and macros. Over the last two decades, we have cultivated a reliable process, creating high-end healthy prepared meals with balanced, nutritious ingredients that are designed to provide you with energy throughout the day. Our meals, snacks and curated boxes are delivered straight to your door and are available nationwide. For more information about our products, please get in touch.