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You Are What You Eat - Eat a Variety of Foods

Autor:   •  July 24, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  1,273 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,188 Views

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You Are What You Eat

Eat a Variety of Foods

Foods contain combinations of nutrients and other healthful substances. No single food can supply all nutrients in the amounts you need. For example, oranges provide vitamin C but no vitamin B12; cheese provides vitamin B12 but no vitamin C. To make sure you get all of the nutrients and other substances needed for health, choose the recommended number of daily servings from each of the five major food groups: grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, meat and beans.

Vegetarian Diets and Nutritional Requirements

Some Americans eat vegetarian diets for reasons of culture, belief, or health. Most vegetarians eat milk products and eggs, and as a group, these lacto-ovo-vegetarians enjoy excellent health. You can get enough protein from a vegetarian diet as long as the variety and amounts of foods consumed are adequate. Meat, fish, and poultry are major contributors of iron, zinc, and B vitamins in most American diets, and vegetarians should pay special attention to getting these nutrients from vegetarian sources.

Vegans eat only food of plant origin. Because animal products are the only sources of vitamin B12, vegans must supplement their diets with a source of this vitamin. In addition, vegan diets, particularly those of children, require care to insure adequacy of vitamin D and calcium, which most Americans obtain from milk products.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

It is important for people of all ages to maintain a healthy weight. People who are overweight increase their risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, breathing problems, and other illnesses. To maintain a healthy body weight, people must balance the amount of calories in the foods and drinks they consume with the amount of calories the body uses. Physical activity is an important way to use food energy. Extreme thinness is also unhealthy. People who eat very little or diet excessively may not get the calories and other nutrients they need for good health.

Aerobic exercise, such as walking, running, swimming, inline skating, and playing soccer, burns fat and calories. Try to do 30 minutes or more of moderate physical activity on most—preferably all—days of the week.

To Decrease Calorie Intake

Eat a variety of foods that are low in calories but high in nutrients—check the Nutrition Facts Label on the foods you eat.

Eat less fat and fewer high-fat foods.

Eat smaller portions and limit second helpings of foods high in fat and calories.

Eat more vegetables and fruits without fats and sugars added in preparation or at the table.

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