On your quest to lose weight or adopt a healthier diet, have you skipped a substantial breakfast in favour of grabbing a quick and convenient energy bar? Or, have you replaced a home-cooked meal with a low-calorie Lean Cuisine? In our daily lives we're faced with endless eating choices every day, along with a myriad of myths and "facts" about supposed health foods, leaving many of us wondering what foods we should be eating. Here, we present some basic food facts that every health-conscious person should know.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
The key to healthy living is having the facts, so become more nutrition-savvy by starting with the food pyramid. Determine your daily nutrition requirements and read food labels to learn the serving sizes and nutritional content of the foods you're eating. Going back to basics and eating fresh and wholesome foods is a great place to start.
FOOD PYRAMID BASICS
The basics of a healthy diet begin with knowing your food groups. The basic food pyramid hasn't changed much since you were a kid, but it has evolved to become more specific about the types of food within each area that we should eat.
- Grains. Foods made from whole wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley or other cereal grains.
Suggested daily servings: 170 grams
- Vegetables. These may be raw, cooked, fresh, frozen, canned, dried or dehydrated, whole, cut-up or mashed.
Suggested daily servings: 5 serves
- Fruits. These may be fresh, dried, frozen, canned, whole, cut-up or pureed.
Suggested daily servings: 2 serves
- Milk and other dairy. This includes all milk products, except for foods made from milk that have little or no calcium, such as cream cheese, cream and butter.
Suggested daily servings: 3 cups
- Meat and beans (proteins). All foods made from meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, peas, eggs, nuts and seeds.
Suggested daily servings: 150 grams
- Oils. Fats that are liquid at room temperature.
Suggested daily servings: Eat sparingly
One size does not fit all, as your recommended daily intake will depend on your height, weight, shape and energy exertion. For more information on the food pyramid and to create a customised diet plan, visit mypyramid.
Next: Start the day with a healthy breakfast