A proper diet plays an important part in our lives. One must ensure to have the refrigerator and the kitchen stuffed with various healthy ingredients and food items so that one can prepare a healthy and nutritious meal. Food can be divided into 5 main groups and it’s essential to intake a part from each group. However, the idea to a healthy diet is a balanced one.
The five main groups are:
1. Fruits and vegetables: They form the main part of a balanced diet. They are highly rich in vitamins and minerals, and are also low in calories and fat. One can try new ways and recipes for eating them. Besides fresh, canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are also good. However, it’s recommended not to completely depend upon them and eat them as little as possible. Cook vegetables in less water, as water can destroy the vitamin C by 70%. Five servings in a day are good for a balanced diet.
2. Carbohydrates: Breads, cereals, rice, grains, pasta and potatoes are rich in carbohydrates and fulfill 50% of our energy requirements. Fiber rich items like whole wheat bread or whole wheat cereal are good, as they help in stabling blood sugar levels. High fiber foods also fill us quicker than the low fiber items. These food items must be cooked in low fat as we fill up on them more. Boil potatoes rather then frying them as boiled potatoes contain 1/3 of the calories present in chips.
3. Proteins: Poultry products, such as red meat, fish, sea food, nuts, beans, lentils and peas, are highly rich in proteins. For a balanced diet, it’s recommended to intake 2 to 4 servings a day. If you want to avoid calories, then opt for lean meat and poultry. For people who want to lose weight, white fish and pulses are good.
4. Fats: Fats are important for our diet as they give important fatty acids and gives way to fat soluble vitamins to absorb. But it’s recommended to eat a low fat diet as a high fat diet increases the risk of heart disease, certain cancers and obesity. A balanced and healthy amount of fat is 55g per day.
5. Sugar: One should try to cut down on sugar as much as possible, as it only provides calories. However, it’s not necessary to completely avoid it. Low calorie sweetener is a good substitute of sugar. One could also intake sweet food that is less sweet.