Why Can’t I Get Fries With That? What Exactly Is In A Healthy Meal?
The government periodically changes the basic food groups in the food pyramid. None of the food groups are eliminated but their importance within the pyramid changes. There are many food choices within the food pyramid and none of the foods are ‘bad’ but some you may prefer over others. If you use the food pyramid as a guide you will find it much easier to buy better and healthier foods.
The food pyramid suggests that we ought to consume the following everyday:
3 or more servings of vegetables
2 – 4 servings of fruits
4 – 8 servings of grains and vegetables
2 – 3 servings of milk/dairy, fish,or poultry
1 – 3 servings of fats
2 or less servings of sweets and treats.
Naturally, the serving size for a growing boy of sixteen will be different from a one year old baby and a senior citizen. Always keep in mind that a serving size needs to be adjusted for the age and activity level of the person eating the meal.
To be the healthiest, most of your meals throughout the day must include items from each food group. For example a healthy lunch might consist of:
A chicken (1 meat) sandwich on whole-wheat bread (2 grains)
Add tomato and lettuce (2 vegetables).
For your beverage have an, 8 ounce glass of milk (1 dairy),
Add few fresh carrots,( 1 veggie), bringing you up to 3 vegetables for this meal alone).
If you are still hungry and want some thing sweet, try an apple (1 fruit)
A serving of yogurt (1 dairy) or perhaps
A 100 calorie pack of pudding. (Technically, this could count as dairy too, but let’s be realistic, it’s a treat.)
Wholesome meals include a protein, a starch, and maybe several vegetable and fruits. (Remember to be aware of the portion sizes because this is what determines how much food you eat and how many calories you are consuming.) Zucchini is a very healthy vegetable until it is deep fried. The deep-frying takes a healthy fresh food and turns it into a fat filled unhealthy gut-buster.
You may be wondering how to handle fats. You need fat in your diet you just need the right kinds of fat. For example, olive oil is a healthy and wholesome fat that contains Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids have been confirmed to help heart function. A word of caution here, healthy and wholesome does not mean that olive oil does not have calories. There are calories in olive oil- a lot of them. Also don’t be fooled by the label that says Light olive oil. The ‘light’ is in reference to the flavor and color not to the calories.
You can finish a healthy meal with a delicious dessert. Many people believe that eating healthy means eating foods that do not taste good. This is NOT TRUE! Just because you are eating healthy does not mean you will have to give up all the little things you enjoy.