According to the nutrients present, foods are divided into groups. It is not possible to get all the nutrients needed for a balanced diet from a single type of food. We should have varied food intake, so that better the chances of getting all the carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals needed to maintain good health.
Vegetables are fat free, very low in calories. That is why vegetables ideally suited for weight controlling. Vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins, particularly vitamins A and C, folacin, and vitamin B6, and contain a wealth of minerals.
We can get beta carotene, which is a building block for vitamin A, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc can be found in dark green and deep yellow vegetables.
It has been found that some vegetables of the mustard family, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, are thought to prevent some cancers.
Also all vegetables contain complex carbohydrates and fiber. They should be eaten liberally, at least three servings a day, raw or cooked. If you cook them, remember that the shorter the cooking time, generally the more nutrients remain and the greater the color and taste.
Most of the fruits contain no fat, like that of vegetables. It can provide us more fiber, carbohydrates and they are also rich for their vitamin and mineral content.
We can get potassium to the diet from many frits like apricots, bananas, grapefruit, melons, grapes, and peaches.
It is best to eat fruit raw and unpeeled, when possible, in order to consume all available fiber. Similarly, whole fruits are preferable to their juices. Juices contain far less fiber and are higher in calories.
It is best to consume avocados and olives in small quantities, as they are higher in fat than most fruits.
All cereals (induding breakfast cereals), breads, rices, pastas, flours, and bran products are grains.
These grains are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates, iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium, protein, and thiamin and niacin. Whole grains and bran products have more fiber, folacin, and vitamin E than refined grains.
They should be eaten liberally.
Also, grains are not high in calories themselves and contain little fat. The fats, meats, or cheeses added to grain dishes are high in calories.
But, both commercially produced and homemade baked grain products such as crackers and cookies may contain a lot of fat.
This group can include all dried beans, lentils, dried peas, and tofu. They are said to be good sources of protein. It contains no cholesterol and virtually no fat. They provide protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and many vitamins. A healthful eating style indudes a variety of legumes weekly.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are the sources of protein, phosphorous, potassium and some B vitamins. Nuts and seeds contain no
cholesterol. But they contain a lot of fat, and are very high in calories as a result. As though they provide variety in texture to the diet, they properly belong to the fat group and should be used very sparingly.
The dairy products can include a variety of foods made from the milk of cows and goats. They are said to be the excellent sources of protein, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and vitamins A, D, folacin, riboflavin, and B12.
Whole milk which contains 3.8-5% fat, and dairy products such as butter and cheese made from whole milk are high in fat and cholesterol.
Choose only low fat dairy products including low fat cheeses, to get the nutritional benefits of these foods without the high fat and cholesterol.
Animal Protein Sources
All fish, shellfish, poultry, meats, eggs, organ meats, and dairy products are animal proteins. We can get substantial amounts of protein, iron, phosphorous, zinc, and B vitamins from the non-dairy animal proteins. Foods of this group have to be chosen judiciously, since many animal products are very high in fat and contain a lot of cholesterol.
Fish and shellfish are very low in fat and they are the animal protein food of choice. Poultry and rabbit come next.
Foods besides meat, poultry, fish, and whole milk dairy products provide important amounts of protein. Decreasing animal protein in the diet should not be a matter of concern in terms of adequacy of protein intake.
A diet that combines whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables and reasonable amounts of low fat animal products can provide the daily intake of 45 grams of protein for women and 56 grams for men.
Fats and Oils
Fats and oils may make food taste better. Butter and margarine are good sources of vitamins A and D. Vegetable oils provide vitamin E in good amounts. Ounce for ounce, fats and oils provide over two times as many calories as proteins and carboydrates do: 9 calories per gram of fat; 4 calories per gram of protein and carbohydrates.
There are two types of fats
: saturated and unsaturated.
Saturated, also called as hydrogenated fats are hard at room temperature. Animal fats are mostly saturated, except fish fat.
Unsaturated fats are liquid or soft at room temperature. The more unsaturated, the more liquid the fat. Safflower oil is the most unsaturated of fats.
Vegetables fats are mostly unsaturated, except coconut oil, palm oil, and cocoa butter which are highly saturated, Coconut oil and palm oil are used by the food industry to coat crackers, cookies, food mixes, and so on, to ensure their prolonged freshness. Cocoa powder is low in fat.
We all consume fat from many sources. It is added as spreads on bread and rolls, as dressings on salads.
Some examples of fat groups are nuts, seeds, peanut butter, avocados, and olives. A diet to reduce cancer risk must be low in fat.
The saturated fats and cholesterol elevate the level of cholesterol in the blood. High levels of blood cholesterol lead to diseases of the heart and blood vessels. People with a high blood cholesterol level should limit saturated fat as well as total fat and cholesterol in their diet.
3o % Fat Diet :
|Calories per day equivalents
||Grams of fat allowed