Choose wisely, eat healthy!
“Our Plate– a place setting for a meal”, illustrates the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet. Before eating, we should think about what goes on our plate, in our cup, or in our bowl.
Our plate should comprise of each food group to achieve a healthy, balanced diet. We do not need to achieve this balance with every meal but try to get the balance right over a day or even a week. The food we eat are broadly classified into five main food groups and we should try to choose a variety of different foods from each of the groups to help get the wide range of nutrients our body needs to stay healthy.
Make sure to keep in mind the following points when you set your plate:
- Make most of your meal vegetables & fruits – ½ of your plate: Aim for color and variety, and remember that potatoes don’t count as vegetables on the Healthy Eating Plate because of their negative impact on blood sugar.
- Go for whole grains – ¼ of your plate: Whole and intact grains whole wheat, barley, wheat berries, quinoa, oats, brown rice, and foods made with them, such as whole wheat pasta—have a milder effect on blood sugar and insulin than white bread, white rice, and other refined grains.
- Protein power – ¼ of your plate: “GO LEAN ON PROTEIN”. Fish, chicken, beans, and nuts are all healthy, versatile protein sources—they can be mixed into salads, and pair well with vegetables on a plate. Limit red meat, and avoid processed meats such as bacon and sausage.
- Healthy plant oils – in moderation: Choose healthy vegetable oils like olive, canola, soy, corn, sunflower, peanut, and others, and avoid partially hydrogenated oils, which contain unhealthy trans-fats. Remember, “Low Fat Does Not Mean HEALTHY”.
- Drink plenty of water instead coffee, or tea: Skip sugary drinks, limit milk and dairy products to one to two servings per day, and limit juice to a small glass per day.
- Stay active: Staying Active is also important in weight control. Find a balance between food and physical activity.
- Compare Sodium: Check salt in foods like soups, breads and frozen meals, and choose foods with lower number.
- Enjoy your food, but eat less.
- Avoid over-sized Portions.
Dt. Itu Chhabra
Clinical Nutritionist & Certified Diabetes Educator
Food Safety Officer & Preventive Health Cure Consultant