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The impact of balanced meals on your health

June 26, 2024
9 minutes
Healthy Eating
Healthy habits

Eating a balanced diet can help you feel your best, but it can be tough to meet your body's needs on a day-to-day basis if you're not sure exactly what a balanced meal looks like. If you're confused as to what exactly you're supposed to eat to feel your best, we get it. There's a ton of conflicting information out there on healthy eating, and it can be overwhelming to try to figure out what works for your body.

Balanced nutrition isn't about dietary perfection—it's about eating the foods that give your body the energy and nutrients that it needs to thrive. Here, we'll explore why it's so important to fuel your body with balanced nutrition, simple additions you can use to boost the nutritional value of your meals throughout the day, and how you can leverage technology to make it easier to enjoy balanced meals.

The importance of balanced nutrition for health and well-being

Balanced nutrition means eating the right foods in the right portions. Eating a balanced diet means that your body and mind are getting the foods they need to function at optimal levels.

Let's take a look at why balanced eating is so important for your health.

Physical health

A high-end vehicle needs high-end fuel, and your body is no different. When you eat a balanced diet, your immune system has everything it needs to do its job, which can strengthen your defenses against germs and other pathogens (while also helping your body heal quickly in the event that you do get sick). Balanced nutrition also supports healthy energy levels, and can help you get to and maintain a healthy weight.

Mental health

Your brain craves balanced nutrition just as much as your body. Regularly enjoying balanced meals supports your cognitive function and mood regulation. When you're providing your body and brain with all the nutrients necessary to thrive, you may find that you experience fewer cravings, as your brain is no longer informing your body that you're low on nutrients.


As we mentioned, eating a balanced diet works to strengthen your immune system, which can lead to a longer, healthier lifespan. Many people who have been diagnosed with a chronic disease (such as heart disease or diabetes) find that they're able to control and/or alleviate their conditions by changing their nutrition. In addition to aiding in the management of chronic disease, some balanced nutrition plans have been shown to lower the risk of developing certain cancers.

Nutrient-rich foods to include in balanced meals

We've covered why balanced nutrition is so important—now, let's dig into how to implement balanced nutrition best practices into your day-to-day life.

One of the easiest ways to start balancing your meals is by simply adding nutrient-dense, natural foods into your diet so that you can get an idea of what makes you feel your best. If you're just getting started with learning more about how your nutrition affects your body, it can be helpful to keep a food journal. Noticing how your mood and physical health correlate with certain foods can give you an idea of what should be included in your personal balanced nutrition plan.

Some of the foods that offer health benefits and fit well into a balanced diet include:

  • Fruits and veggies. Eating the rainbow—meaning, varying the colors of fruits and vegetables in your diet—is a great way to add low-calorie, high-nutrient foods to your routine. According to the American Cancer Society, the fruits and veggies that have the most color tend to be the most nutrient-packed. Try adding raspberries, blueberries, bell peppers, spinach, sweet potatoes, eggplant, baby carrots, and other brightly-colored produce items to your diet—bonus points if you work them into your breakfast for a fresh start to the day.
  • Fiber-rich foods. Getting plenty of fiber in your diet doesn't just reduce your risk of colon cancer. Adopting a high-fiber diet (with plenty of foods like beans, lentils, berries, nuts, and apples) can help you feel satiated for longer than other foods due to their ability to help your body release acetate, a molecule that lets our brains know when we've had enough to eat.
  • Lean protein. Adding lean protein to your diet can help to lower your blood pressure, boost the good cholesterol in your body, and support muscle recovery after a great workout. You've got tons of options when it comes to choosing the lean proteins that work best for you. Turkey breast, chicken breast, salmon, tuna, tilapia, lean beef, Greek yogurt, eggs, tofu, quinoa, legumes (like beans and lentils), almonds, and pumpkin seeds can all help you get the protein your body needs.

The impact of balanced meals on energy levels and productivity

If you've ever felt the urge to put your head down on your desk and take a nap after an all-too-heavy workday lunch, you know that it's possible for food to zap your energy. When you balance your diet, however, you're much more likely to experience an energy boost instead of a 3 pm slump.

When you eat the right foods for your needs, your body gets exactly what it requires to function. Many people find that when they cut out excess calories and foods that offer little in the way of nutrients, their energy levels begin to rise.

Strategies for building balanced meals that suit individual preferences and dietary needs

If you've ever had the thought, "If only someone would tell me exactly how to eat... then, I'd have more energy," you're not alone. That being said, with the wealth of information we have at our fingertips today, it's rarely a lack of knowledge that stops us from eating the way that we want. Instead, it's struggles with busy lifestyles, seeing convenience foods everywhere we turn, and enjoying hyper-palatable foods that can get us off track.

Finding simple strategies that work for you can go a long way in creating a plan that you'll be able to stick to long-term. Check out these strategies that you can implement today to help you begin developing a balanced nutritional plan:

  • Start small. There's no need to perform a complete lifestyle overhaul overnight in order to begin the process of building balanced meals. Starting by planning and shopping for four healthy dinners over the coming week can be a great way to dive in without feeling like every minute is controlled by your new eating plan. Pay attention to how you feel as you begin the process of implementing changes, so you can begin to understand what works for your body.
  • Prep ahead of time. If you're down to prep a full week of meals at once, more power to you! If you're just getting started with eating a more balanced diet, you might find that it's more helpful to simply prepare grab-and-go foods so that you're not tempted to eat something that throws you off of your plan the moment that hunger strikes. Cutting fruits and vegetables ahead of time can make it much easier to reach for them when hunger strikes. Cooking a double portion of a healthy dinner—and storing the other portion in the fridge for tomorrow's lunch—can also help balanced eating feel less daunting.
  • Watch the sugar. While it may be tempting to chow down on sugar when you're in the need of a dopamine boost, doing so can wreck your energy levels. When you're eating to boost your energy, look for a snack that offers protein, fat, and carbohydrates, as close to its natural form as possible.
  • Consider checking portions. No, you certainly don't have to measure every ounce of food that you eat, but it can be helpful to understand portion sizes. Pay attention to how you feel as you adjust your portion sizes. When in doubt, increase your produce and protein portions, and decrease fats and sugars.

Understanding macronutrients and micronutrients and their role in overall health

Macronutrients are the building blocks of food that provide us with the energy we need to survive. Commonly referred to as macros, macronutrients include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.


Contrary to what you may have heard, carbs are not evil! Carbohydrates give us the energy we need to fuel cellular activity. Sources of carbohydrates include dairy products, fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes.


While you need carbs for energy, you need protein to feel your best. Protein supports the maintenance and repair of your body's tissue, and works to bolster the body's immune and endocrine (hormone) systems.


A highly concentrated source of energy, fats support cell growth, protect your organs, and help the body absorb certain micronutrients. Not all fats are created equal, however, and it's best to stick to healthy fat options to give your body the fuel it needs. Olive oil, fish, nuts, and seeds all provide the healthy fats that your body craves.


These vitamins and minerals are essential for a healthy body, but they're effective in far smaller amounts than macronutrients.

Vitamins like A, C, B, E, and K all support your body's production of energy and support a healthy immune system. Minerals like iron, copper, sodium, calcium, and cobalt all work to protect your bones, keep the fluids in your body balanced, and maintain a healthy metabolism.

Practical tips for tracking dietary intake and monitoring nutritional balance

In order to know where you're going, you've got to know where you're starting, and tracking your current food intake can help. This isn't a time to judge yourself, rather, it's a time to develop a starting point and figure out how you can change your nutrition to help you feel your best.

Try these tips to help you track and adjust your nutritional habits:

  • Track, track, track! We can't say it enough—simply having an idea of what you're eating and where you could make changes is often all that it takes to create a shift in mindset and lifestyle. Using an app like MyFitnessPal can provide you with the insights you need to understand how different foods affect your physical and mental well-being.
  • Don't procrastinate. Entering your food into your tracker immediately can improve your accuracy and help you get a better picture of your nutrition.
  • Remember, drinks count. Solid food isn't your only source of nourishment. Adding drinks (including coffee, tea, and alcohol) to your daily tracker log can help you get a clear picture of how your choices are affecting your health.
  • Get a buddy. If you're ready to take on the challenge of revamping your dietary habits and working toward balance, pairing up with a friend who wants to do the same can help you to stay accountable.

Leveraging Evidation's health app to get insights and optimize balanced nutrition

Creating balanced meals supports countless aspects of your overall well-being, and it's well worth the effort it takes to ensure that you're fueling your body with everything it needs. At Evidation, we're here to support you on every step of your health journey. We utilize the data you share with us from your nutrition tracking apps to provide personalized insights and recommendations for improving your dietary habits, balancing your meals, and ensuring that you're taking smart steps toward your health and wellness goals. Click here to learn more about the app and get started.

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