Are you looking to dump the junk food and follow a healthy diet plan that makes you feel lighter and more energetic at the same time?
Choose MyPlate will help you chart out a diet plan which incorporates the essential food groups that serve as the foundation for healthy eating.
What Is Choose My Plate?
Choose MyPlate is a United States government initiative which serves to provide health-based information to individuals, nutritionists, and the health industry.
- The information they provide will help you build a healthier diet.
- They also have resources in place to help you monitor your progress, conduct a nutritional assessment and provide other related nutritional information.
The Food Group Checklist:
You need to keep a check on what you consume or what ingredients are added to your plate or bowl. Therefore, in order to build a healthy plate, you need to learn more about the 6 main food groups.
Fruits or natural fruit juices classify as forming part of the Fruit Group. Fruits may be consumed fresh, frozen, pureed, canned or dried, among others.
The list of healthy fruits that you should consume includes:
Fruit juices that you should have include:
Tip: You should have a balanced plate comprising of both fruits and vegetables.
[ Read: Orange Juice For Babies ]
Vegetables form an integral part of any healthy diet. Always remember to vary your vegetables. They are best eaten cooked but can always be consumed raw.
Vegetables are segregated into 5 subgroups based on their nutrient content:
a. Dark Green Vegetables: broccoli, spinach, watercress and collard greens, among others.
b. Starchy Vegetables: corn, green beans, potatoes and green peas.
c. Beans And Peas: black beans, lentils, soy beans and white beans.
d. Red And Green Vegetables: acorn squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and tomatoes.
e. Others: cucumber, eggplant, mushrooms, onions and turnips.
[ Read: Benefits Of Coconut Water For Babies ]
Grains include any food made from wheat, oats, rice, and cereal grain as well. They should be incorporated in your diet to maintain a healthy balance.
Grains can be divided into two main groups:
a. Whole Grains: contains the whole grain kernel.
Examples of Whole Grains include:
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat flour
b. Refined Grains: they have been milled to remove the bran and germ; rich in Vitamin B.
Examples of Refined Grains include:
- White bread
- White rice
- White flour
Tip: Ensure that most of your grains are whole grains.
[ Read: Benefits Of Vitamin B For Kids ]
4. Protein Foods:
Protein is essential to any diet because it helps build and repair tissue. It also helps strengthen bones, muscles, skin and blood. The foods belonging to this group include:
a. Meat: lean cuts of beef, mutton and pork, luncheon meat, lean ground and game meats.
b. Poultry: chicken, duck, goose and turkey.
c. Seafood: catfish, flounder, halibut and herring, among others. Choose seafood rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
d. Nuts: almonds, cashews, peanuts and pecans, among others.
e. Soy Products: tempeh and tofu.
Tips: In order to truly reap the benefits of protein in your diet, select a range of protein foods to improve the intake of nutrients in your body as well as improve health. Include 8 ounces of seafood weekly in your diet. Vegetarians can always choose to opt for beans and peas, nuts and seeds which form part of the vegetarian group.
[ Read: Potassium Requirements For Children ]
Dairy intake also forms an integral part of your diet. They are the richest source of calcium and three servings should be consumed a day.
Dairy consumed should however be fat-free or low-fat. Here are some of the main components of the Dairy group:
a. Milk: fat-free, skim milk, whole milk or reduced fat milk.
b. Desserts (Milk-Based): ice milk, frozen yoghurt and fat-free ice cream.
c. Yoghurt: low fat, fat-free, reduced fat and whole milk yoghurt.
d. Cheese: Swiss, parmesan, ricotta and cottage cheese, among others.
Tips: Always choose the fat-free varieties of milk, cheese and yoghurt. Smaller portions should be consumed if you are lactose-intolerant. Ensure that you keep your ‘empty calories’ in check to avoid adding to your intake.
[ Read: Healthy Snacks For Preschoolers ]
Although they do not form part of a food group, oils also provide essential nutrients.
Listed below are some oils which are commonly used:
- Corn oil
- Canola oil
- Olive oil
- Soybean oil
- Sunflower oil
You should definitely opt for oil which is derived from plants as they do not contain cholesterol. Make sure to stay away from solid fat including:
- Milk fat
- Pork fat
- Chicken fat
The health plan by ChooseMyPlate gives you a detailed overview of the kind of food that you should include in your diet plant to ensure that you reap the full health benefits of it.
We hope that the choose my plate daily food plan will help you lead a happier and healthier life. Do share your views on the same in the comment section below.
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