A healthy diet means getting the right types and amounts of foods and drinks to deliver nutrition and energy for maintaining body cells, tissues, and organs, and for supporting normal growth and development.
A well-balanced healthy diet provides enough energy and nutrition for optimal growth and development. There are five main food groups that we need to eat food from every day to stay healthy. Food is the fuel for our body and we need the fuel for energy, to help our body grow and repair itself, and to keep warm.
The main 5 food groups are:
- Protein Food
- Dairy Products
The fruit food group encompasses a wide range of fresh fruits and fruit products, including dried, frozen and canned fruit, and 100 percent fruit juice. Berries and melons, which tend to be particularly nutrient-dense, are highlighted as important subgroups of the fruit group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen or dried. In general, 1 cup of fruit or 100 percent fruit juice or 1/2 cup of dried fruit can be considered as 1 cup.
The vegetable food group includes an array of fresh vegetables and vegetable products, including frozen, canned and dried vegetables, as well as 100 percent vegetable juice. The main group is divided into subgroups comprised of nutritionally similar foods, including dark green vegetables, red and orange vegetables, starchy vegetables, other vegetables and beans and peas. The purpose of these subgroups is to promote eating a wide variety of vegetables.
Grains are divided into two groups: whole grains and refined grains. Experts recommend that at least half your grains be whole (the more, the better). Refined grains, such as white-flour products, have been processed and have less nutritional value than whole grains. Whole grains include whole-wheat flour, bulgur (cracked wheat), oatmeal, whole cornmeal, brown rice and wild rice.
Meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, nuts, seeds, soy products and beans and peas make up the protein food group. Although they’re included in the vegetable group for their fibre content and nutrient profile, beans and peas are also excellent sources of vegetarian protein.
The dairy food group is mostly comprised of dairy products that are high in calcium. All types of yogurt, most cheeses and all liquid milk products are part of the dairy group, as are calciumrich milk-based desserts such as ice cream and pudding.
A sample of healthy Diet
6-6.30 am: (Within half hour of waking up) – any mid size fruit. (Mango, apple, banana, bowl of papaya, muskmelon, watermelon, orange,)
7.30-8 am: (within an hour of meal 1) serving of carbohydrates with lean protein ( museli/ oat, poha, upma, sandwich, idli-sambhar, dosa, pancakes, sprouts salad) + milk products (Milk, cheese, curds)
9.30 – 11 am: (mid meal) handful of peanuts/chana/almonds/walnuts/khakhra etc
12.30 – 1 pm: (Lunch) 3-4 chapati/1 tbsp rice + 1 bowl dal/pulses + 1 bowl vegetable(leafy one is preferred) + few pieces of raw veggies (salad)
2.30 -3 pm: (mid meal) 1 bowl curd/ 1 cup milk/ 1 cheese slice
4.30 – 5 pm: (mid meal) Brown bread sandwich/ khakhra with cheese spread/ dhokla / idli / plain dosa
6.30- 7 pm: (mid meal) any fruit/ milk/ butter milk
8- 8.30 (dinner) : 1-2 chapati / 1 tbsp long grain rice + dal + salad + 1 bowl veg.
10- 10.30 – 1 glass plain milk.