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Guide to eating a balanced diet

With scientific advancements, dietary guidelines change. It can be difficult to keep up with current recommendations and to know what to eat.

This article will discuss current dietary guidelines and how to create a balanced diet.

What’s a balanced diet?

A balanced diet is one that meets all of a person’s nutritional requirements. Humans need a certain amount of USDA’s guidelines to recommend that half of a person’s plate consist of fruits or vegetables.

The remaining half should consist of protein and grains. Each meal should be accompanied by a small amount of low-fat or other dairy products.

The 5 food categories

These five food groups are essential to a healthy, balanced diet

  • vegetables
  • fruits
  • Grains
  • protein
  • dairy

Vegetables

Five subgroups make up the vegetable group:

  • leafy greens
  • Red or orange vegetables
  • Starchy vegetables
  • Beans and peas (legumes).
  • Other vegetables such as zucchini or eggplant are also available.

People should choose a wide variety of vegetables to get enough nutrients and avoid dietary boredom.

The USDA recommends that trusted Source suggests that people consume vegetables from each subgroup every week.

Vegetables can be cooked or raw. It is important to keep in mind that cooking vegetables can reduce their nutritional value. Deep-frying and other methods can also add unhealthy fats to a dish.

Fruits

Balanced diets include plenty of fruits. Instead of getting fruit from juice, Nutrition experts recommend eating whole fruits.

Juice contains fewer nutrients. The manufacturing process can add empty calories because of added sugar. Instead of using syrup, choose fresh or frozen fruits or fruits that have been canned in water.

Grains

There are two types of whole grains: refined grains and whole grains.

Whole grains are made up of all three parts of the grain: the germ, bran, and endosperm. Whole grains are slower to be broken down by the body, which means they have less impact on blood sugar.

Whole grains are more nutritious than refined grains, and they tend to be higher in fiber and protein.

Refined grains have been processed and don’t contain the original three components. Refined grains can also have lower levels of protein and fiber and may cause blood sugar spikes.

Grains were once the foundation of the government-approved food pyramid. This meant that the majority of a person’s daily caloric intake was from grains. The updated guidelines recommend that grains should not make up more than 25% of a person’s daily food intake.

Whole grains should make up at least half of all grains consumed daily by a person. Whole grains are good for your health.

  • Quinoa
  • Oats
  • Brown rice
  • barley
  • Buckwheat

Protein

The 2015-2022 Dietary Guidelines For Americans states that everyone should eat nutrient-dense proteins as part of their daily diet.

According to the guidelines, this protein should account for a quarter of an individual’s plate.

Nutritious protein choices include:

  • Lean pork and beef
  • chicken and turkey
  • Fish
  • Beans, legumes, and peas

Dairy

Calcium is found in dairy products and fortified soy products. Low-fat versions are recommended by the USDA.

Soy and low-fat dairy products are:

  • ricotta or cottage cheese
  • low-fat milk
  • yogurt
  • soy milk

Lactose Intolerant can choose low-lactose products or non-lactose products or soy-based sources for calcium and other nutrients.

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