Everyone should aim to eat healthy and develop their awareness of healthy food choices. Eating healthy depends on the choices you make. Therefore, you must know how to make the right choices. A good start is the Food Guide Pyramid.
Beginning Healthy Food Choices
Healthy eating is a conscious choice that must be practiced. There are lots of distraction when it comes to eating. If we do not control how we eat we can allow our eating habits to become on that is determines by our moods and occasions. As a result, we can be prone to develping eating disorders. Emotional eating can also be developed form our lack of control. These choices determine our physical and mental health.
The Food Guide has five groups and an oil category. This Food Guide is intended to show the best way to choose the food you eat. The five groups are:
Carbohydrates provide the body with the fuel it needs for its physical daily activities and for the proper function of all its organs. However, some carbohydrates are better, such as whole grains since they provide lots of needed vitamins, minerals and fiber.
There are two types of carbohydrates- simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are sugars, and complex carbohydrates are starches found in beans, nuts, vegetables, and whole grains. Carbohydrate intake should be limited, especially the process grains such as breads, pasta, cereals, etc.
Carbohydrates convert into glucose, a form of sugar, that can be used by the body more quickly than protein or fats. But a diet high in carbohydrates increases the body’s sugar level. a diet low in carbohydrates depletes the storage of glucose (called glycogen) that is stored in the muscles and liver.
The vegetable group are edible plants and are generally the stem, root, or flower from the plant. they are high in vitamins and minerals and low in fat and calories. Most can be eaten raw. If you like you can get a lot of these vitamins and minerals if you juice them.
Certain vegetables are known to have the highest pesticide load, therefore care should be taken to wash them carefully before consuming them. They are peaches celery, lettuce, grapes, potatoes, spinach, pears, sweet bell peppers, peaches, nectarines, apples, and cherries. Vegetables with the lowest pesticide levels are broccoli, mango, avocado, pineapple, sweet peas, sweet corn, banana, cabbage, eggplant, and kiwi. Nutritionist recommend 2-3 servings of vegetables daily.
The fruit group is very important. They not only taste great but are low in calories and fat, and are therefore a natural source of sugar, fiber, and vitamins. Fruits also contain various phytochemicals which help strengthen the immune system and reduce risk in a number of chronic illnesses, such as cancer, stoke,and heart disease. Nutritionists recommend 2-4 servings of fruits daily.
The dairy include milk, yogurt, and cheese. They are a rich source of calcium, protein, phosphorus, vitamin A and D; but are high in saturated fat and cholesterol. For this reason, you should choose dairy that is fat-free or low-fat.
It is recommended that adults drink three glasses of milk. However, many people cannot digest milk and they can therefore get their calcium from other foods such as green (which has more calcium than milk by the cup and vitamin K). Another is sesame.
The protein group comprise of meats, poultry, fish, and eggs. they are good source for iron, zinc, and vitamin B12, but are high in fat and cholesterol. Therefore, it is recommended that most of the fatty tissue in meat should be trim off. Also, some of these nutrients can also be found in foods such as beans nuts, and eggs and can therefore become meat alternatives. Nutritionist recommend 2-3 servings for a protein rich food day (For meat it is approximately 4oz, the size of a deck of cards).
When you cook care should be taken to control the amount of fat used in meals because they may increase your cholesterol. Such foods are butter, margarine, shortening and lard. It is therefore important to check nutritional labels to determine whether a product is high in fat (especially, saturated fat and trans fat) and sodium so as to keep them to a minimum.
Healthy Food Choices using the The Food Pyramid
Here is the updated Food Pyramid that can be quite helpful in aiding your healthy food choices.
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