Vegetables in daily meals are very important. They are naturally low in fat and also provide fiber. Vegetables help to keep balance between the fluids of the body. They provide vitamins A and C, and minerals, such as iron and magnesium and folate. Vegetables also provide carbohydrates for the energy our body needs. A small quantity of meat, eggs, milk or cheese mixed up with variety and combinations of vegetables provide the full range of amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals our body needs. For this we have no need to turn our kitchen into a laboratory, a little creativity is enough.
Fruits are wonderful because they are low in fat and sodium and provide important vitamins that keep you feeling fine and looking good. Fruit and fruit juices provide important amounts of vitamins A and C and potassium. 2 to 4 daily servings of fruit play a big role in a good diet. Fruits also give you carbohydrates, the body's favorite kind of fuel. And above all fruit is full of fiber. Fruits are protective and regulatory in nature.
Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese Group
Milk products provide protein, vitamins, and minerals. Eating and drinking milk, yogurt, and cheese is the best way to get your daily calcium. And you'll have the power of protein to help you grow and build your body when you pick foods from this group. 2 to 3 servings of this group is enough for your body. 2 servings are enough for most people and 3 for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, teenagers and young adults to age 24. The most critical time to fill your bones with calcium is in your teen-age years. If you don't provide your body with sufficient calcium in your teens, your bones will be less dense throughout your life.
Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts Group
Meat, poultry, and fish supply protein, B vitamins, iron, and zinc. The other foods in this group - dry beans, eggs, and nuts - are similar to meats in providing protein and most vitamins and minerals. Mutton, chicken, eggs and all edible birds, fish, crab, lobsters and shrimp are examples of Meat, Poultry and Seafood; they are major source of protein and also provide significant amount of fat. Groundnut, cashew nut, walnut, pistachio and badam examples of Nuts and Oilseeds are major source of fats and also provide protein. 2 to 3 servings from this group is sufficient for your body. This food group helps in body building and energy storing.
Fats, Oils, and Sweets
Groundnut oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, sunflower, safflower oil, butter and ghee. Fat can be visible fat, like oil. There is also invisible fat that cannot be seen but is consumed. For example, nuts and oil seeds also contain fat. Fat could be vegetable fat or animal fat. Our body needs fats for some things, but it's smart to avoid eating too much of it. This food group has more calories than nutrition so we should always use it sparingly. Sugary foods like candy and cookies are simple carbohydrates that can give you quick energy, they are usually loaded with calories and don't offer much in the way of nutrients.
Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta Group
The foods in this group should make up the biggest part of your total diet that is 6 to 11 servings in a day. These foods provide complex carbohydrates (starches), which are an important source of energy, especially in lowfat diets. They also provide vitamins, minerals, fiber and some iron. Bread, cereal, rice, and pasta are all great sources of carbohydrate, the nutrient that the body uses as its major energy source. The final quarter of your balanced vegetarian plate should be made up of whole grains. Choose whole grains over white, processed grains. Whole grains contain high fiber, so they are more filling and don't raise blood-sugar levels as much as other carbohydrates do. Also they have more disease-fighting phytochemicals.
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