A Balanced Diet

The concept of a balanced diet differs from person to person, and country to country. There is no such thing as a prescribed balanced diet for every person in the world. What may be a balanced diet for one person might be too meager for another. The nutrients required by a human body vary with age, lifestyle, activities, and exercise. Having said that, every human body requires a sufficient amount of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fats to function effectively. We need energy for everything, ranging from work and exercise, to rest and sleeping. Even when we are physically, and emotionally on complete rest, our body is expending energy to maintain vital life functions e.g. breathing, keeping the heart beating etc. The energy spent by the body at complete rest is called the basal metabolism rate. Our energy needs depend on our basal metabolism rates.

That is the reason why some people claim that food makes them fatter as compared to other people. The people who eat less, but gain more probably have a lower basal metabolism rate.

Here are some of the factors that affect our energy requirements:

  • Body Size and Mass: It is estimated that people with more weight, and a bigger body sixe require more energy for their basal metabolism rate as compared to people of smaller build.
  • Climate: People living in cold areas lose more body heat than people living in hot areas. Thus, they will require more energy to maintain their body temperature, and will have a greater basal metabolism rate.
  • Age: Children have a higher basal metabolism rate than adults. Since children require various nutrients to bolster their growth, their metabolism rate is higher.
  • Sex: Men need more energy to maintain their body temperature, as they have a lesser amount of fatty tissue as compared to women.
  • Thyroid Gland: The thyroid gland in our body controls the metabolic rate our body. If a person’s thyroid gland is less active than normal, the person will have a lower metabolic rate than usual, and will gain weight. Similarly, if a person has an over-active thyroid gland, the body will have a higher metabolic rate, which will cause the person to lose a lot of weight.


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