The 4 Factors to Consider When Planning a Healthy Meal

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

A balanced diet is critical to the health. The quality and type of food you eat every day will affect every cell in your body. That is why it pays to eat cleanly and healthily. In today’s post, we are listing down all the important factors to consider when planning a healthy diet:


Portions are important especially if a normal weight is essential to your health. Those afflicted with diabetes, heart problems and joint problems have to keep an eye on their weight to minimize associated risks and complications of the disease.

To develop a healthy meal, you need to know the proper caloric intake according to your age, gender, and activity level. If you never tracked the amount of food you ate then, now’s the best time to start. Calculate the nutrients and calories you consume throughout the day. If you are eating whole foods, you won’t do much tracking at all.

If you are unsure how to achieve the right food portion, check the nutrition facts label and look at the serving size. Compare that figure to the portion you eat and adjust accordingly. Another way to check the right portion is to limit the size of the food. For instance, a serving of meat should be about the size of a regular deck of cards. Half a cup of cooked rice or pasta is about the size of a tennis ball while 2 tablespoons of peanut butter are about the size of a Ping-Pong ball.

Food Groups

A balanced meal means adding all foods from all food groups in your plate. Foods from these groups contain balanced nutrients you need to stay healthy. Avoiding certain food groups could lead to malnutrition. Unfortunately, some dieters turn to unhealthy, very restrictive diets that avoid specific or even an entire food group!

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, your plate should consist of a serving of vegetables and fruits, a quarter of lean meat, and a quarter of whole grains. Adults must pair their meals with dairy, which some kids could be sensitive to. Our advice is to keep your food options fresh, organic, and low in fat. The same thing goes for dairy, keep it fat-free or low in fat for optimum health.

Food Colors

It is equally important to choose vividly colored foods of all kinds. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables are teeming with phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are plant-based pigments that combat sickness and minimize oxidative stress within the cells. Ideally, you want to fill your plates with yellow, orange, red, dark green, blue, and/or purple fruits and veggies. These foods are high in antioxidants that strengthen the cells and promote immunity.

Essential Fatty Acids

The body needs a supply of healthy fat. You can get healthy fats from oily fish, grains, legumes, and nuts. These foods contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that are good for the body as long as taken in moderation. Oily fish, in particular, contains omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acid is an essential fat that aids in brain development. Studies also linked omega 3 fatty acid to cancer risk reduction.

Avoid saturated fats at all cost. Saturated fats are harmful oils that clog the arteries and the heart. Replace refined grains with whole, unrefined grains such as brown rice, whole wheat, and oats.