- Moderation means not eating too much of a particular food.
- Variety means eating as wide a selection as possible from each of the five basic food groups.
- Balance refers to the harmony achieved by following moderation and variety and ensuring the calories consumed equals the calories expended.
The five basic food groups are:
1. Bread, cereal, pasta and rice.
These foods eaten by themselves are naturally low in fat. They also supply fibre, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
Vegetables provide vitamins and minerals and are rich source of fibre. They are also low in fat. Select dark leafy greens, deep yellow or orange vegetables and starchy vegetables like potatoes, yams or sweet potatoes.
Fruits are a rich source of vitamins mainly C. They are low in fat and calories. Select FRESH fruit.
4. Milk, yoghurt and cheese.
Milk products are the richest source of calcium, protein and vitamin B12. Choose low fat varieties to keep cholesterol and fat at a minimum.
5. Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs and nuts.
The meat group are an excellent source of protein, iron, zinc and B vitamins, as are dried beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. Tofu, if processed with calcium sulfate and fish with edible bones also supply calcium. Dried beans, legumes and pulses supply calcium to a lesser extent. Remove visible fat from meat and poultry before cooking to reduce calories and saturated fat intake.
A sixth group, fats, oils and sweets consists mainly of items that are pleasing to the palate, but high in fat and/or calories. These should be eaten in moderation. This group contains many calories and little else nutritionally. The exceptions are vegetable oils, which contain varying amounts of Vitamin E, such as sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, corn and palm oils. Other oils contain Vitamin K; these are soybean and canola oils and to a lesser extent olive oil.
In a Nutshell:
- Eat a variety of foods.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Choose a diet low in fat, especially saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Choose a diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits and grain products.
- Eat sugars in moderation.
- Use salt only in moderation.
- If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation.
Healthy Food Choices - Breakfast On the Go
Healthy Food Choices - Packing School Lunches
Healthy Food Choices - Lunches at Work
Healthy Food Choices - Fast Food
Healthy Food Choices - Sit Down Restaurant
Healthy Food Choices - Snacks On the Road
Related Tools / Resources:
Early Sprouts: Cultivating Healthy Food Choices in Young Children
The Hcg Diet with Pre Diet Instructions and Food Choices to Help Lose Weight
Feed Your Family Right!: How to Make Smart Food and Fitness Choices for a Healthy Lifestyle
You are What You Eat Cookbook
You Are What You Eat: The Plan That Will Change Your Life