Part of nutrition is deciding what to eat. There are certain guidelines of the foods that should be eaten. Some foods should be eaten more than others, and different foods are better than others. Vitamins are also important to know about. If you are not eating the correct foods, than vitamins should be used as a supplement. And what is a better way to eat healthy, than cooking low-fat meals yourself. Recipes should be easy to follow, and not take too much time to make. All of these items will be included in this section.
There are four main food groups that nutritionists talk about when maintaining a balanced diet. Included in the following food groups are serving amounts for an adult and types of foods in that group.
You should have 2-3 servings a day. This group is a major source of protein. Cooked beans are low in fat. Some of these foods include eggs, hamburger, beans, chicken, fish and peanut butter.
Dairy is a great source of calcium and protein. It could be low in fat if you choose these items from the store. You should have 2-4 servings of dairy. It includes milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese and anything containing milk.
Almost all fruits and vegetables are low in fat and calories. They are a great source of vitamins, carbohydrate energy, potassium and fiber. Yellow or orange vegetables contain Vitamin A. Citrus fruits contain Vitamin C. You should have 2-4 servings of each. They include juices, all fruits and all vegetables(cooked or raw).
These are your complex carbohydrates. They provide B vitamins and fiber and are a great source of energy. You should have 6-8 servings. They include breads, cereals, rice, pancakes and pasta.
Use these sparingly. They include butter, oils, sour cream, soda, candy and anything with lots of calories.
|Category||Serving Size||Examples of One-Serving Foods|
|Bread||6||1/2 cup rice, 1 pancake,|
1/2 bagel, 1 oz cereal,
1/2 cup pasta
1/2 cup cooked vegetables
|Fruits||2||medium fruit, 1cup juice|
|Dairy||2-3||1 cup milk, 1 1/2 oz cheese,|
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 cup yogurt
|Meat, Poultry, Fish||2||1 egg, 2 oz meat,|
1/2 cup beans,
2 Tbs peanut butter
|Total Fat||53 grams|
|Total Sugars||24 grams|
Some critics do not agree with the above food groups. Years ago, the USDA said we should eat from the original four food groups. Now scientists say that basing a diet on these groups will lead us to inadequate nutrition and could cause disease.
These critics say that the new food groups should be 1.fruits, 2.grains, 3.vegetables and 4.legumes. For the old food groups, it was said that there was inadequate nutritional research. They were established according to nutritional needs of the 1950's. Since then, the required daily allowance has been revised. If we ate according to the old food groups, we would be taking in too much fat and meat and dairy.
Now the serving size would be 5 servings of grains, 3 servings of legumes, 3 servings of vegetables and 3 servings of fruits. All of the dietary information about grains, vegetables and fruits is the same from above so the only difference is legumes.
This is another name for beans, peas and lentils. They are good sources of protein, calcium, zinc and B vitamins. Examples of servings are 1/2 cup cooked beans, peas, tofu, etc.
Vitamins are needed to maintain a balanced diet. They are chemicals which the body can not make by itself, but needs for growth, repair and other functions. Different foods contain different vitamins. That is one of the reasons why you need to eat a large variety of foods. The vitamins must be supplied in the diet or by supplements. Each vitamin has a chemical name and a letter.
Natural vitamins are organic food substances found in living things, like plants and animals. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the most rich in vitamins. You have to be careful because cooking can lose some of the vitamins, and when boiling water, the vitamins dissolve into the water. Vitamins should be taken with a meal because thay can not be assimilated without the ingestion of food. They help regulate the metabolism, help convert fats and carbohydrates into energy and assist in the forming of bone and tissues.
The following is a list of some(but not all) of the important vitamins you should be ingesting on a daily basis. With each vitamin are the reasons they help the body and what could happen if you do not ingest the vitamin. Then there is a table listing certain foods that contain those vitamins.
Helps with the maintenance of healthy skin, eyes, bones, hair and teeth. It helps maintain smooth skin and counteracts weak eyesight. Foods that are rich in Beta Carotene help reduce the risk of lung cancer and oral cancer. Beta Carotene is an antioxidant that is converted by the body to Vitamin A as needed. If it is not taken it will increase the susceptibility to infections, produce rough, scaly skin, fatigue and retard the growth of teeth.
This vitamin assists in the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorus for strong bones and teeth. It maintains a stable mervous system and normal heart rate. If not taken it could lead to tooth decay, softening of bones, muscular weakness and inadequate absorption of calcium.
This is an anti-oxidant nutrient. It helps retard cellular aging due to oxidation. It supplies oxygen to the blood and stops fatigue. It aids in bringing nourishment to the cells, protecting the red blood cells and dissolving blood clots. If not taken it could lead to the rupture of red blood cells and a lack of sexual vitality.
This vitamin is essential for healthy teeth, gums and bones. It prevents scurvy, builds resistance to infection, aids in the prevention of colds, aids in the absorption of iron and is required for the synthesis of collagen (holds the tissues together). Taking this vitamin can decrease your risk of certain cancers. If not taken it could lead to bleeding gums, swollen joints, bruising, tooth decay, muscle weakness and anemia.
It is important for generating energy. It aids in the digestion of carbohydrates, the normal functioning of the nervous system and promotes growth. If not taken it could lead to loss of appetite, weakness, irritability, aches and pains and depression.
This vitamin is important for metabolism, aiding in the formation of red blood cells and maintaining vision and eye fatigue. If it is not taken it could result in itchy eyes, sores, retarded growth and oily skin.
It prevents anemia. It is necessary for a healthy nervous system, increases in energy and is involved in the synthesis of genetic material. If not taken it can lead to pernicious anemia, poor appetitie, growth failure and depression.
|Vitamin||Some Food Sources|
|Vitamin A||carrots, beet greens,|
spinach and broccoli
|Vitamin D||milk and fish liver oils|
|Vitamin E||vegetable oils, raw seeds|
and nuts and soybeans
|Vitamin C||citrus fruits(oranges,|
lemons and grapefruits),
|Vitamin B-1||grains, oatmeal,|
legumes and beans,
potatoes and fish
|Vitamin B-2||liver, meat, eggs,|
beans, nuts and dairy
|Vitamin B-12||milk, meat, eggs|
Here are a variety of different recipes that are low in fat. Each site has numerous amounts of recipes that should satisfy cravings and keep you in shape.
Do you like apples. Here are some recipes that all have apples in them. Examples are Apple Country Chicken and Apple Fritters.
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Here is a recipe for each month of the year.