-What's all the fuss about eating a balanced diet anyway?
The balanced diet chart below includes all the foods within the healthy eating guidelines of the new food pyramid. It can help you choose the right foods, but more importantly, the correct amount of those foods.
-Eating a balanced healthy diet means you really need to include a variety of foods from all the new food pyramid groups, and in moderation.
-A fair amount of fruits and especially vegetables is probably the best place to start, but keep in mind...
-"Balance, in other words, moderation and mix in a good variety"
(the spice of life)
A good mixture of different fruits and vegetables, along with a variety of lean protein (especially fish), dairy products and don't forget the whole grains. They're all truly essential in giving your body all the vitamins and minerals as well as the protein requirements it really needs for good health.
The average caloric allowance per day is 2000, but varies with body size, age, body mass index, and your activity level. If you're not sure which column you should go by, click here to find out your activity level.
|Daily Servings 1200 Cal.Diet||Daily Servings 1600 Cal. Diet||Food Group||Suggested serving -Any Combination- to equal daily||Daily Servings 2000 Cal. Diet||Daily Servings 2400 Cal. Diet|
|2 Cups||3 Cups||Dairy||
1 Cup Milk or yogurt -2 oz of
processed cheese = 1 cup
1-1/2 oz of natural cheese
(2 slices) = 1 cup
|3 Cups||3 Cups|
|3 Oz.||5 Ounces||Meat||
1 oz of cooked lean
or 1oz equivalent of
1 Egg 1/4cup cooked
dried beans or tofu
1-Tbsp Peanut butter
1/2 oz. seeds or nuts
|5 1/2 Oz||
1 cup of dry cereal, 1 slice of bread or 1 sm. muffin all = 1
serv.-1/2 cup cooked cereal
rice or pasta = 1 serving
|2 Serv||3 Serv||Fruits||1 Medium size fruit, 1/2 cup chopped, berries or canned, 3/4 cup juice All=1 Serv||4 Serv||5 Serv|
|1 -1/2 Cups||2 Cups||Veggies||2 Cups of Leaf greens = 1 Cup of Regular vegetables or 3/4 cup juice=1 cup veggies||2 -1/2 Cups||3 Cups|
|Oils||Low-fat margarine, mayo, light salad dressing, olive, canola, safflower oil||
|Daily Servings 1200 Cal. Diet||Daily Servings 1600 Cal. Diet||Food Group||Suggested serving -Any Combination- to equal daily||Daily Servings 2000 Cal. Diet||Daily Servings 2400 Cal. Diet|
Balanced Diet Chart Tips
For your healthy living plans.
-1. The balanced diet chart can really help a lot, but everything starts with exercise. Daily exercise is needed to maintain strong bones, and can go a long way in keeping the calories and weight at desirable levels.
-2. Focus on *vegetables and fruits, more so if you're on a low-fat diet, and weight loss is your goal. They're the healthiest and naturally higher in fiber, and lower in calories and fat.
*The suggested serving is just that, suggested, if you need to go above and beyond the suggested serving of any group in the balanced diet chart, these are definitely the ones to choose. -In fact, it would be encouraged!
-3. Add lean meat, poultry and especially fish (not farm raised, wild caught is best by far) Avoid frying -bake, broil and grill, it's easier, less of a mess and a whole lot better for you.
-4. Cut back on the red meat as much as possible. Stay away from processed foods, salty snacks and foods, as well as sugary drinks. Even diet drinks, although lower in calories, have been shown to stimulate the appetite and increase the impulse to eat more.
-5. Water, drink plenty of it, as well as fruit and vegetable juices. They keep the body hydrated and help to flush out toxins as well. Try a glass before every meal, it'll help fill you up and you'll eat a little less.More on the health benefits of water
-6. Eat whole grains, together with high fiber veggies and fruits, they have the bonus of being really filling, and they slow the digestion, keeping you full longer.
-7. Oils, When you eat oils and fat, keep the saturated fat under 10% of your daily amount, with little or no trans fat (hydrogenated) if possible. Use healthier oils like virgin olive oil and canola oil.
-8. Keep the cholesterol under 300 mg/day.
-9. Don't forget the dairy products; they provide calcium for strong bones and healthy teeth, and vitamin D, which helps in its absorption.
-10. Stay away from refined sugars; sugary foods of all types are high in calories and further stimulate the appetite - a balanced diet chart no-no.
We all need a sweet treat from time to time, just try to limit them.
-11. As a last resort, take a multivitamin to supplement if you're missing something not found in the food you eat, but the real thing's the best.
-12. Once again -balance, moderation and a good variety. With an eye on the balanced diet chart, if you concentrate on these 3 things, with the stress on the moderation, you'll do just fine, and stay fit and trim too!
-13. It's worth repeating, do yourself a favor and eat whole grain breads. The wheat germ and bran found in whole grains are known to:
-Why whole grain, and why is white bread so bad?
It's not bad really; it's just not very good. Most of the wheat germ, bran and nutrients have been bleached out of white bread.
Most of the fiber is lost as well, and with this lack of fiber, the body stores more of these calories, as fat. - Not a great choice for those of us on a low-fat diet, or anyone else for that matter.
-In fact 98% of magnesium, 80% of thiamin and iron, as well as over 50% of 10 other nutrients and antioxidants are lost through this process. It's basically empty calories with little or no value, so why eat it? (yes, that's right, whole grains still got em')
We have more food here in the United States, than any other country.
Still we see poor nutrition, while nutrition related illnesses such as heart disease; cancer and diabetes are among the highest, not to mention the soaring obesity rates in America.
-It's time to take the balanced diet chart, and its healthy eating guidelines much more seriously ...for the healthy balanced diet, we all need!
From Wikipedia: The importance of human nutrition.
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