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Do you think you have a balanced diet?

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  • sardelsasardelsa Member Posts: 9,772 Member Member Posts: 9,772 Member
    My diet is pretty horrendous. I don't get out shopping as much as I normally do due to the circumstances. Debating just drinking meal replacements for most of my cals until next year. :(
  • ythannahythannah Member Posts: 3,391 Member Member Posts: 3,391 Member
    ythannah wrote: »
    I wouldn't say I have a balanced diet considering it contains no meat or poultry but it's probably decently healthy.

    I (try to) follow the principle that at least half the diet should be composed of fruit and veg. To accomplish that I eliminated the starch (pasta, rice, potato) portion of meals and replaced that with more veg. Works for me because I hate cooking so that was one less meal element to prepare.

    I have a pretty aggressive protein goal so eat a lot of fish, seafood and things like beans and lentils to boost my protein. I also use a lot of plant-based meat substitutes. Bonus for me is that they're easy to cook with.

    I probably don't eat a huge variety of veg on a daily basis because I'm not super creative with cooking and I always end up with a whole bunch of leftover stuff that I can't figure out what to do with, but I'm pretty happy snacking on raw veg if that's what it takes to use it up.

    If anything I think I end up low on fat. But it's a juggling act since I have to keep my sodium low too.

    Considering that you can meet all macro- and micronutrient goals without ever eating meat from non-fish, I don't know why you would assume your diet couldn't be balanced in those circumstances.

    Thank you! I think I'm defining "balanced" as "well-rounded" and I know I'm coming up short on fat and whole grains. Somewhere I have this vague idea that some vitamins are fat-soluble (although I'm not sure what they are) so I may not be getting the full benefit if I'm not breaking them down properly, and I know that whole grains are a source of the B vitamins. Any bread that I do have is whole wheat/whole grain because that is my taste preference, I just don't eat it very often. So I definitely think I could do a better job of incorporating more food groups.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 17,063 Member Member, Premium Posts: 17,063 Member
    Aimeesdiet wrote: »
    I was pretty convinced I was hitting most of the food groups until I started researching some of my issues. I have white spotting on my nails and arm pimples and when I read they foods to help these problems, I realised I didn't eat a SINGLE ONE! I told my sister and she said "well obviously, all you eat is carbs and vegetables" I HATE fish but I may have to find a fish I like 😳 basically I would like to know what a balanced diet looks like!! Would anyone on here like to share?

    I think the mainstream authorities (USDA, NHS, WHO, etc.) provide a pretty good view of what a balanced diet looks like. The USDA has resources at all levels of education/understanding, from elementary school level to PhD in nutrition level. (I assume the others do, too, but I'm most familiar with USDA.)

    I personally think their minimum protein is lower than I should eat (as a active vegetarian who's aging and sometimes losing weight). But those resources are a good start.

    Then there are free meal planners like https://www.eatthismuch.com/, that a person can use for ideas or to plan one's entire way of eating, within various dietary styles.

    Personally, my simplified view of balanced eating is pretty much any calorie-appropriate approach that gets me 0.6-0.8g protein minimum daily per pound of healthy goal weight, 0.35-0.45g fat (emphasizing monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and Omega-3/Omega-6 balance) per pound minimum daily (maybe a little less for men), and truly lots of varied, colorful veggies and fruits (minimum 5 daily 80-gram servings, ideally 10+) for fiber and micros. Periodically, I spot check micros I'm unsure I'm hitting, and adjust if necessary.

    If you want a complete rundown on USDA minimum recommendations for your specifics, there's a calculator here: https://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/dri-calculator/

    For more on recent protein research, I like this source: https://examine.com/guides/protein-intake/ (They also offer a protein calculator: https://examine.com/nutrition/protein-intake-calculator/)

    If we have symptoms, and look those up, odds are very high of finding dubiously accurate alt-health sites that will recommend supplements (that they happen to sell) or dietary strategies (possibly detailed in books, videos, or coaching that they sell). If there's sound science to support the idea, the mainstream medical centers, university academic resources, and nutritional authorities will give you the information you need. It's a really good idea to cross-check random internet bloggers and instagram influencers against mainstream sources. I'm not saying the mainstream sources are totally perfect, but they work hard at being evidence (science) based.
  • 1pandabear1pandabear Member Posts: 336 Member Member Posts: 336 Member
    Aimeesdiet wrote: »
    I was pretty convinced I was hitting most of the food groups until I started researching some of my issues. I have white spotting on my nails and arm pimples and when I read they foods to help these problems, I realised I didn't eat a SINGLE ONE! I told my sister and she said "well obviously, all you eat is carbs and vegetables" I HATE fish but I may have to find a fish I like 😳 basically I would like to know what a balanced diet looks like!! Would anyone on here like to share?

    If you hate fish you may enjoy Tortilla Crusted Tilapia from Costco, it's peppery and citrusy and of course crunchy with crust. It's not as rich in omega3 fats as say a piece of salmon but it has some, and it tastes really good. You can bake it in a toaster oven in 15 minutes without preheating.
  • ythannahythannah Member Posts: 3,391 Member Member Posts: 3,391 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »

    If we have symptoms, and look those up, odds are very high of finding dubiously accurate alt-health sites that will recommend supplements (that they happen to sell) or dietary strategies (possibly detailed in books, videos, or coaching that they sell). If there's sound science to support the idea, the mainstream medical centers, university academic resources, and nutritional authorities will give you the information you need. It's a really good idea to cross-check random internet bloggers and instagram influencers against mainstream sources. I'm not saying the mainstream sources are totally perfect, but they work hard at being evidence (science) based.

    And that, in a nutshell, is the curse of the internet. There's always someone willing to take your money to "fix" your problems, or convince you that there's a problem when none may exist.
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