With all the new fad diets out there today, it is hard to determine how to get proper nutrition without compromising yourself. Believe it or not, living by the food pyramid is a sound way to develop a nutritional diet. The important part is keeping the portions within reasonable limits and the calories at a satisfactory number to sustain you working as a human being. We’ve already looked at the carbohydrate, fruit and vegetables and dairy groups in the food pyramid. Today let’s look at the meat, legumes and fat food groups.
The meat group includes protein containing foods such as fish, ground beef, chicken, pork, eggs, nuts, beans, and legumes. Just two to three daily servings of this group can provide the daily requirement without an overload of the fatty tissue that is often in meat. Protein is an important factor in muscle growth, and meats also contain a large amount of iron, which is vital to carry oxygen to body tissues. Deficiency of iron, often seen in women and vegetarians, leads to anemia, which can lead to an increase in fatigue and muscle weakness. In addition, fish contains a large amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important in women's health. Finally, nuts and beans also contain fiber, important in regularity. Red meat servings should not be overdone due to its high fat content. Whenever possible, lean meat should be consumed to prevent an increase in fatty plaque formation. In addition, meat should be grilled and not fried, to eliminate further fatty additives.
Sometimes the food pyramid includes a fifth group of fat and simple sugars, allowing one to two servings daily. However, if one follows the previous guideline of meat, dairy, grains, and fruits and vegetables, additional intake of fats is not necessary. The body does require some daily fat intact for the cells to work, but a proper diet should give an adequate amount of fat without need for extra servings.
Fad diets should be carefully analyzed with your physician before tried. Most people who are overweight can lose extra pounds by lowering their calorie intake and increasing their exercise (or energy expenditure). Diets that suggest eliminating a particular food group can be hazardous, as each food group has an important contribution in nutrition. By following the simple food pyramid, and limiting intake to 2000-2500 calories a day, your nutrition will be balanced without weight gain. Remember - read labels to see what you are really getting out of your food!