We are all different from each other, have different routines and eating habits. Different eating styles can be a healthy diet (there is no "one right diet for everyone"). No matter the diet, our bodies need an adequate amount of vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, fat, minerals and water. A balanced diet has 2 fundamental components; balanced nutrition and calorie levels. These amounts depend on our body's needs of supply, to move during the day, depending on our activities. The mentioned requirements must always be applied, no matter your goal with the diet.
Some diet goals
Support sports performance
One tool created for the general population. To provide guidance for building a balanced & healthy diet is MyPyramid. This tool recommends consuming: 5 different types and amounts of food, based on physical activity. Which are; Grains, fruits, milk products, meat/beans, vegetables.
Furthermore, MyPyramid is based on nutritional science (dietary guidelines). This makes it a good way to start building a healthier diet. An important factor to keep in mind is variety. It provides nutrients that, quantity does not provide. Variety is essential for a healthy & balanced diet. You might like some fruits more than others. But however, you can't eat the same fruit several times a day, to get the best fruit nutritional requirements for the day. Eating 3 oranges won't give you, the same benefits as:
1 orange, 1 apple and 1 banana.
Another important point to highlight. Excluding an entire food group, may lack specific nutrients in the diet. In case you don’t eat some foods, eat other foods with similar or equal nutritional values. The necessity to count calories consumption and use might make it difficult to follow guidelines, to create a balanced diet. Counting the calories is difficult, without the knowledge of daily calories consumption and use. Luckily, technology makes this easier for us.
Calorie counter smartphone apps:
Calorie counter apps are good to count calories. They are built to count, daily used calories and consumed calories. The disadvantage of these apps is their lack of support by evidence. Many papers show, no relevant impact on people’s eating habits, by using these apps. Only a few RCTs have positive results toward apps for weight management. However, some of these apps use evidence-based guidelines. Apps implementing, evidence-based guidelines, are recommended for building a healthy & balanced diet.
These apps have the capacity to engage users
The ability to use them anywhere at any time
Facility to count calories and nutrients
Some provide researchers, with the capacity to deliver health promotion
Smartphone apps & dietary guidelines help us building a healthier diet. I recommend to implement both, dietary guidelines and smartphone apps.
Don't forget the importance of variety
Use smartphone apps that, are based on dietary guidelines (evidence-based guidelines).