It has been said that we are what we eat. Nutrition plays an important role for optimal health, and a healthy, balanced diet is essential for good nutrition. How do you know if your diet is well balanced? You need to eat a variety of foods from the five main food groups.
What are the five food groups?
If you take care of consuming food from each of the five groups every day, you are eating a balanced diet. The five food groups are:
Fruit is nutritious and a healthy alternative to sweets, cakes and sweet desserts. They contain a lot of natural sugar, but they also provide fiber, vitamins and antioxidants and are less likely to increase your blood sugar. Eat whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juices. Fresh or frozen whole fruits contain more nutrients than juice, and they have no added sugar, as juice often does. Avoid fruit canned in syrup.
Vegetables provide our bodies with important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. For optimal nutrition, eat a variety of vegetables in different colors. The vegetable food group has five subgroups:
- Leafy vegetables
- Orange or red vegetables
- Starchy vegetables
- Legumes (beans and peas)
- Other vegetables (such as zucchini and eggplant)  USD att you choose a few vegetables from each of the subgroups each week.
This food group contains whole grains and refined grains. Whole grains are the best choice for a healthy diet. They retain all parts of the grain, contain more fiber and protein, break down more slowly and have less effect on blood sugar than refined grains. Healthy whole grain choices include oats, brown rice, quinoa, barley and buckwheat.
Protein is important for muscle development and maintenance, wound healing and other functions in the body. Our main sources of protein are meat and beans. Healthy animal protein comes from red meat, poultry and fish. Herbal proteins are good sources of fiber and nutrients. Examples of healthy plant-based protein feeds include beans, almonds, peas, sunflower seeds, walnuts and lentils.
Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, cottage cheese and yogurt, are an excellent source of protein, calcium and vitamin D. Low fat varieties are available for those who want to reduce their fat intake. Lactose-free products are also available for lactose intolerant individuals.
How about fats and oils?
Fat is important for our bodies to function properly. But too much fat in your diet can lead to weight gain. There has been conflicting information over the years about which are the good fats and which are bad. The latest recommendations are to use fish and vegetable oils, limit butterfat and avoid trans fats completely.
What does your doctor say?
Your doctor may order laboratory work to test for nutritional deficiencies. With regular check-ups, your doctor can help you get the nutrients you need in sufficient quantities. You should have a thorough physical examination at least once a year. Our agent can help you get a health insurance plan that allows you to get the medical care you need.