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 Diet & Nutrition

May 2009
Get a Balanced Diet
Dr Shikha Sharma
Many people wonder what can be an ideal balanced diet, specially when over the years the concept of an ideal diet has changed! Now when we speak about a balanced diet we not only talk about the macro level of food components but also the micro level of food spacing, timing etc. 

Tips for a Well Balanced Diet: 

  • A balanced diet should consist of all the elements of food which are health giving to the body. It should be consisting of all the food components like proteins, carbohydrates and fats. The ratio could depend upon the prakriti (constitution) activity and age. For example, pitt prakriti/body builders/pregnant mothers and growing children would need more protein and similarly vata prakriti can indulge a little more in oils vis a vis a kapha or pitt prakriti.
  • Food should be eaten at regular intervals to sustain a steady energy level state and eating all the calories at one meal can be as detrimental as not eating the correct diet.
  • Food should be prepared/cooked in a way which is health giving, therefore overcooked vegetables, deep fried cooking can not be health promoting.
  • Food quantity should, over the years become lesser to keep pace with the reduction in metabolism so that one does not accumulate weight.
  • Food should consist of a correct balance of enzyme rich foods and enzyme deficient foods, enzyme rich foods are fruits, salads, sprouts, and vegetable juices and enzyme deficient foods are all cooked foods.
  • A balanced diet should also have all the rasa or tastes which lead to emotional satisfaction after eating. The 6 rasas (tastes) are salty, sweet, sour, astringent, bitter and pungent. These can be acquired by salty (spinch/leafy vegetables are naturally salty) sweet (all fruits) astringent (all salads) sour (citrus fruits) bitter (methi seeds, karela, etc) and pungent (black pepper). These rasas not only provide meal satisfaction but also help to balance the constitutions, for example in summers the sweet and the astringent tastes bring down the effects of heat.

Food should be as natural and unprocessed as packaging and over processing destroys nutrients and reduces fiber.

Dr. Shikha Sharma
is a renowned weight loss, diet and health expert.

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