A balanced diet
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The word diet generally refers to the food and drink we regularly consume. If you think about the things you eat and drink each day you get an idea of what your diet is. Everyone has a diet but some diets are healthier than others. This diet has too many sweets and fatty foods and it doesn’t include other nutrients the body needs. A well balanced diet involves eating a wide variety of foods from each of the major food groups. So, how much food and what kinds of nutrients should you eat on a daily basis?. This is not an easy thing to figure out. To help, scientists developed the recommended dietary allowance or RDA for short. These are guidelines that help to explain how much of the different nutrients we should consume. Perhaps you’ve noticed the food label on the package of spaghetti noodles or on the side of a soup can. The food label states a lot of information. One of the things that states is the Recommended Dietary Allowance the food contains. It lists the major nutrients the food contains, as well as other things such as the amount of sodium and different vitamins. It is possible to see if you’ve consumed the right amount of nutrients by looking at the RDA numbers on food labels but this takes a lot of time. An easier way to help achieve a balanced diet is to eat a variety of foods from each of the food groups. This diagram is of the food pyramid. Each colour represents a different food group. Food groups are based on foods that contain the same types of nutrients, for example the Grains Food Group contains carbohydrates, as well as several vitamins. This group includes whole grain breads, pasta, cereal and rice. The food pyramid is most valuable when it is individually tailored to a person’s dietary needs based on their age, gender and activity level. For example, it’s recommended that a healthy ten-year old female who exercices at least thirty minutes a day, should eat six ounces from the Grains Group every day, during a course of the day this female might consume a cup of whole grain cereal, a piece of whole grain bread, half a bagel and half a cup of cooked bran rice. It’s recommended that she eat at least one and a half cups of fruit each day from the Fruit Group and she should eat two and a half cups of vegetables which might consist of one cup of carrots, one medium potato and a half a cup of asparagus. Strive for five is an expression that means that teenagers and adults should try to eat a total of five fruit and vegetables daily. Another food group includes milk, cheese and yogourt, these foods contain protein, carbohydrates and some fat. The last major Food Group contains meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dry beans and nuts. It’s recommended that a ten-year old female eat five ounces from, this group. These foods tend to be high in protein, however some foods in this group such as fatty meats, egg yolks as well as some nuts are high in fat and should be eaten sparingly.
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