According to Kellow, no single food can ultimately provide all the required calories and nutrients needed for anyone to stay healthy. It therefore requires one to consume a variety of foods to ensure that they take a balanced diet. As she points out, selecting and consuming foods that make up a balanced diet is essential in avoiding or reducing the probability of individuals falling victims of continuous illness or even delayed aging effects. In her definition, a healthy diet is that which helps individual in maintaining or improving his or her general health.

In his assertion, Hopkins notes that there is usually no confusion or restrictiveness in developing a healthy eating habit as people do imagine. He states that the principle of a healthy diet is simply eating of a wide variety of foods because such foods have and contribute different nutritional components. According to Mr Hopkins, the reason why most adults, especially in England, are obese or overweight is because they eat more food than they require. He points out that in order to ensure a healthy diet, people should eat a variety of foods which are proportionate and can be effectively utilized by their body.

According to Maya, Melinda, and Jeanne, healthy eating is not based on strict nutritional philosophies or depriving oneself from foods he/she loves in order to be unrealistically thin. However, it is rather developing great feelings and agitation to have more energy, stabilize one’s mood, and more so to keep oneself as healthy as possible. However, people’s inability to maintain and enjoy a healthy life has been contributed by them not following the recommended eating pyramids and exchange lists designed for a balanced diet. It is based on these, that the paper discusses a number of suggestions for maintaining a healthy diet.

First, food guide pyramids outline dietary guidelines on what one ought to eat on a daily basis in order to maintain a healthy diet. However, Dachis notes that these guidelines are not meant to provide a rigid prescription on what one should eat, but rather to give out general guides that enable an individual to choose and eat a healthy diet that suits him or her. According to Mr Dahis, food guide pyramids normally call for the need to eat a variety of foods that are nutritious enough and taken in the right amount of calories that can effectively help in maintaining a healthy weight. In so doing, an individual is able to reduce his or her risks of common health complications such as heart diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, and constipation among others.

In eating five food groups, the food guide pyramid outlines how one can eat on a daily basis to ensure balanced diet. At the bottom of the pyramid is a group of food staffs including bread, cereal, rice, and pasta foods. This group, as Dachis points out, is located at the bottom of the pyramid. The foods are essential since they are low in fat and high in fibre content. Additionally, he notes that bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, breakfast cereals, grains, yams, oats, and noodles that fall under this group provide the body with vitamin B, and small amount of iron and calcium important for energy generation. In this respect, foods from this group should form at least a third of each plate for every individuals’ meal. This may include a handful of breakfast cereal, a bowl of porridge, and one slice of bread or ½ cup of cooked or ready to eat cereals which should be taken 6-11 times per day.

Up the food guide pyramid from this first group is the vegetable and fruits group. According to Shaw, vegetables and fruits are essential sources of vitamins and minerals to human body that help in building up immune system.They also have low calories content. He notes that vegetable constitute parts of a plant such as stem, roots, and flowers especially those which are not sweet but are consumed by human beings. Since vegetables vary in vitamin and mineral component, they should be consumed considerably. For instance, a typical green, dark green, and some vegetables such as broccoli contain vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron mineral respectively. Therefore, for a recommended health diet, NIH notes that five servings of vegetables and fruits should be taken daily. This would include having one medium apple, banana or orange with morning cereals at breakfast, swap a half cup of chopped fruit and vegetable at mid-morning and add a side salad to lunch. It is also important to add a portion of vegetable to dinner, and dried fruits in the evening in order to achieve the five servings.

Another food group outlined in the pyramid is the meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts. According to Dachis, all these foods are good sources of protein, iron, and some vitamins which are important in enhancing growth and repair in the body. He cautions that since these food groups are high in fat, it is important to choose the learner cuts and fat-reduced varieties for healthy upkeep. This level of fat content recommends them to be taken in 2 servings per day and should fill not more than a sixth of plate at each mealtime. This would include eating either 70-100g of cooked meat, a half cup of cooked legumes, 2 small eggs, or even a third cup of nuts for two servings per day.

At the same level with the above food group is milk and dairy products. According to Schrier, this food groups are rich sources of dietary calcium essential for healthy bones. With their high fat content, only taking low-fat varieties such as semi-skimmed milk with 1 % fat, reduced-fat cheese, and fat-free yoghurt can constitute to a healthy diet. Schrier notes that low-fat dairy products normally provide calcium that assists the body in the burning of fats, especially those found around our midriff. It is therefore recommended for one to take two servings of 250ml of milk, 2 slices cheese each 40 g or 200 g of yogurt per day.

Finally, oils, fats and sweets as recommended in the food pyramid should be taken sparingly. Spilsbury notes that sweets or sweet bottle drinks such as sodas have high content of calories which can affect badly the immune system as well as the insulin level. This is due to the fact that the diet sodas are produced by artificial sweeteners which are only for colouration and tastes, yet unhealthy.

On the other hand, dietary exchange lists have been designed in order to substitute specific foods with comparable calories, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. The lists address specific concerns relating to certain diseases. According to Brassard, exchange lists are usually based on principles of good nutrition and programs that effectively enable people maintaining their health. In so doing, exchange lists allow people to personalize their eating plan, stay within it, and consider which food selection can improve and maintain their health.

As pointed out by NIH, exchange lists provide individuals with healthy eating tips. This allows people not to be concerned with the amount of measurable calories which a healthy diet requires, but rather see their diet in terms of colour, variety and freshness. In so doing, people would focus on finding foods that they not only love, but are easy to make while also incorporating nutritious fresh ingredients.

Additionally, using exchange lists is an essential aspect of moderation and an important key to healthy diet. According to Dof, the primary goal of healthy eating is to develop a continuous diet that is timely essential to maintain individual’s life. By moderation, it does not mean eating less than we usually do, but rather eating less of the unhealthy food varieties and more of healthy foods. Moreover, moderation does not mean eliminating foods an individual loves. For instance, moderation can be considered when an individual takes bacon for breakfast a week and followed by healthy lunch and dinner, but not follow the same with a box of sausage pizza.

Moreover, limiting the amount of sugar and salt taken, but rather taking more water is essential for healthier up keep. NHLB notes that sugar causes the body energy to either rise or drop. This can result into weight problems.However, Wilson points out that drinking plenty of filtered or mineral water is important in flushing toxins out of our body. According to him, filtered or mineral water has no calories and sugary stimulants. It serves as a lubricant to the inside body thereby flushing out toxins deposited in the body. Therefore, it is important to take at least eight glasses of water daily with a glass taken before any meal.

Conclusion

In conclusion, building a healthy diet can only be achieved if people develop their eating habit based on recommended practices and food components. What food guide pyramids and exchange lists have developed is only for individuals to select and eat right proportion of foods that are essential for their rights. However, it requires more than stipulated guidelines and exchanged lists but rather individual’s agitation and moderation in ensuring a healthy diet.

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