Consuming a balanced diet is one of the most important parts of leading a healthy lifestyle. The phrase, “You are what you eat,” has not become commonplace for no good reason. While it’s commonly used with a negative connotation, it can also be used in a positive manner.
Regular consumption of the right amount of different food groups will go a long way towards helping you maintain a weight that’s healthy for you and your body type. A balanced diet will also significantly reduce your risk of developing many health conditions that are related to poor nutrition, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Everyone can benefit from taking the time to assess the quality of food they are consuming, as well as what ingredients are going into that food. Depending on your age, gender, and physical activity levels, you will be able to hone in on recommendations for what you should be eating.
While many of us grew up learning the “Food Pyramid,” that model was replaced by an updated recommendation in 2011. This new guide is called MyPlate, and it was designed with the purpose of helping people make better food choices.
Every essential food group contains different nutrients and macrobiotics that your body needs to stay healthy. The MyPlate recommendation can be broken down as follows:
Typically, adults should aim to eat anywhere between 1.5 and 2 cups of fruit everyday. Whether it’s apples and bananas or papayas and mangoes, fruit can be used in a number of different ways as a great snack, a scrumptious side, or a delicious dessert.
It is recommended that adults try to consume 2.5 to 3 cups of vegetables everyday. When selecting vegetables to include in your meals, try to use the “color rule.” Find vegetables of as many different colours as possible, and take turns adding different veggies alongside your favourite dishes!
MyPlate recommends that adults consume between 5.5 and 6 ounces of protein each day. Many of us can easily consume much more, as meat, seafood, beans, nuts, and eggs are all protein. A great suggestion calls for substituting seafood for red meat or poultry for at least two meals every week.
In general, adults should try to consume 5 to 7 ounces of grains each day. It is also recommended that you ditch refined grains and choose whole grains whenever possible, such as whole wheat bread and pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, and whole wheat cereal.
It is recommended that adults shoot for three servings of dairy per day. Dairy typically comes in the form of milk, yogurt, or cheese. You should know that choosing low-fat or fat-free dairy products will help to reduce your levels of saturated fat intake.
If you’re exercising frequently, you should be sure to complement your workout plan with a balanced diet so that you can be sure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs to perform at a high level. You should make it your goal to fill half your plate with fruits and veggies, a quarter of your plate with a lean protein, and the remaining quarter with whole grains. A serving of low fat dairy will add a perfect touch to your balanced meal!