We are all familiar with the concept of eating right. There is so much information about all sorts of healthy foods and their calorie value. There is enough being written about how vitamins are good for you and what are the rich sources of this nutrient. But rarely do we get to know the approximate quantity that is required by the body on a daily basis. What makes a balanced diet. To make it a little simpler for you we decided to give you an overview of what should make your daily dietary intake.

The key nutrients that are required for smooth functioning of the diet are proteins, fat, fiber, minerals, iron, carbohydrates, vitamins and calcium. A diet that includes all these essential nutrients, in correct portion, is known as a balanced diet. Based on the average calorie requirement for a male weighing 60kgs: 2700 or a female weighing 55 kgs:2100 here is a list of essential foods to maintain your weight :

Chapati/Rice: Carbohydrate is the most important fuel of the body.  Its the refined carbohydrates like sugar, white bread, sodas and other processed foods that make you gain weight, make you prone to diabetes and heat diseases.Read more about the bad and the good carbohydrates. A daily meal should consist of 4-5 portions of carbohydrates in a day.

Milk or Dairy products: Dairy is essential for calcium, protein, phosphorous and magnesium. Infact some recent studies even suggest that dairy can help you cut belly fat. A minimum serving of 1-2 glasses of dairy is required every single day.

Vegetables:  Vegetables are the most important part of a balanced diet. A minimum of 3-5 servings of vegetables are required daily to get minerals, fiber, iron and most vitamins. The fiber in vegetables also helps regulate the use of sugars in the body while helping to keep hunger and blood sugar in check.

Fruits:  Need to eat atleast 2 fruits a day to fulfil your requirement of vitamins in the body. Fruits besides providing essential vitamins boost immunity to stay away from infections with its anti-oxidation properties to destroy free radical.

Pulses/Poultry and other meat: This is the main source of protein If you believe in the myth that eating extra protein will add muscle mass then you are wrong. Instead the body will process according to the requirement of the muscle and the extra protein will get saved as fat in your fat cells. 2-3 servings are more than sufficient for your daily protein intake.

Water:  Human body is 70-75 % water and forms the bulk of blood and tissue fluid and is therefore essential for transporting nutrients, hormones and waste products around the body. Water is also essential to help digest the food and generate the energy required of body movements and other physical activities. Minimum of 10-12 glasses are important for normal functioning of the body.

Fat: Extremely important for absorption of vitamins in the body. It also helps maintain the elasticity of skin. You require atleast 4-5 teaspoons of oil/butter everyday. So for all those people who consider fat as their enemy should reconsider adding it to the diet. The real enemy is the trans and saturated fat usually found in processed food. Infact fat can help you improve memory and build muscle.

Different age and lifestyles demand more intake of certain nutrients to counter the deficiency and restore the balance. This is a general dietary intake for an average person.