Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Basic Food Groups

Canadian public nutrition education is handled by Health and Welfare Canada. Canada's Food Guide divides common foods into four catagories; grain products, milk products, fruits and vegetables, and meats and alternatives.
The food guide describes the number and the size of servings that should be consumed from each food group, with allowances for pregnant and breast- feeding women, males and females, age, body size, and activity levels. Following the general concepts will result in a "nutritious diet". This also means that energy needs will be fulfilled, micronutrient requirements (vitamins and minerals) will be met, and the macronutrients (proteins, fats, and carbohydrates) will be consumed in a proper ratio.
Now the optimal balance is arrived at by featuring the abundance of servings from the grain, fruits and vegetables groups, while limiting the intake of fattier foods found in the milk and meat catagories. If all the guidelines are followed, then no more than 30 percent of the total number of calories will come from fats.
The total number of servings a day should add up to a minimum of 14 and a maximum of 29, now this sounds like a lot, but the portions are quite small see what makes a serving below and the number of servings servings should be adjusted according to the individual energy needs of each individual. A truly balanced diet is one which provides all the essential nutrients while maintaining the ideal body weight for each person. Thus a person this way trying to lose a few pounds may have the maximum number of low calorie fruits and vegetables and the minimum number of servings from the meat, dairy and starch groups, which do tend to be higher in calories.
What Makes a Good Size Serving?

Grain Products - 1 slice of bread; 1/2 bagel, pita or bun; 1/2cup of pasta or rice; 1 bowl of hot cereal; 1 bowl of cold cereal.

Vegetables - 1/2 cup fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables; 1 medium sized vegetable;
1 cup of salad; 1/2 cup of juice.

Fruits - 1/2 cup of fresh, frozen, or canned fruit; 1 medium sized fruit; ½ a cup of juice.

MIlk Products 1 cup of milk; 1/4 cup of yogurt, and 1 1/2 oz of cheese.

Meat & Alternatives - 2 to 3 oz lean meat, poultry or fish; 1/2 to 1/3 can of fish; 1 to 2 eggs; 1/2 cup of tofu; 2 tbsp of peanut butter.
How Much Water To Drink

For a healthy adult they need 2 1/2 to 3 quarts a fluids a day. Some of those fluids come from food, but six to 8 glasses should come from water or other nonalcxoholic beverages ( avoid drinks high in sugar and caffien). With prolonged excercise, hot weather, diarrhea, and a fever are among some conditions that will require more fluids intake. Now in these cases try to drink extra fluids before signs of thirst occur. Thirst is unreliable especially when it comes to the elderly.

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