Are We What We Eat?

Whenever we talk about diet, there are numerous things that come to mind. There are mainly two meanings of the word diet. They both relate to food. First one can be defined as food that we take into our body. For example, eating a well-balanced diet. Another one can be defined as losing weight.

A well balanced diet involves the proper portions of the five basic food groups. You need proper portions of each of the foods each day to have a balanced diet and optimum health. As you move up the pyramid, the amount of the foods that you need gets smaller. The bottom is the bread, rice, cereal, rice and pasta group. Most people need 6 to 11 servings from this group per day.

Vegetable group is the next in the pyramid. 3 to 5 servings are essential from this group each day. Vitamins and minerals are provided by this group. Fruits group is next in the pyramid. 2 to 4 servings from this group are needed daily. Fruits provide us Vitamin C, fiber, carbohydrates and more.

Next is the milk, yogurt and cheese group. People need 2 to 3 servings of this group per day. This group gives you calcium and protein. Drinking milk and eating cheese and/or yogurt is a great way to get your daily allowance.

The last group involves meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts. This group is very vital. It is at the top of the pyramid as you don't require as large an amount of it each day. This group requires only 2 to 3 servings daily.
Lastly, is an addition to the food pyramid. Doctors and scientists discovered that some fats are essential to the body for a healthy diet so we added on the fats, sweets and oils group. This is separate from the regular food pyramid but should still be mentioned. The fats that your body needs naturally can usually be found in the foods you eat so you do not need to add additional fatty or sweet foods. While these foods can be yummy, they should be consumed sparingly.
If you are referring to a weight-loss diet, you are talking about changing or restricting your diet somehow to reduce calories, fat or other to lose weight. No diet should be used without talking to your doctor first. There are many diets on the market and medications to help people diet. The problem with dieting when not under a doctor~s care is that you may be loosing nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. You may be trying to lose weight because you are overweight or obese, but can be doing more harm by restricting vitamins and minerals that your body needs.

Remember, if you are in doubt as to what your body needs, please consult your doctor.

Marcelle Ventura is the webmaster of FINA Diet
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