You likely grew up learning about the five food groups, but healthy eating isn't always as simple as following a pyramid. Depending on your age, size, gender, activity level, and presence of health conditions, your nutritional needs will vary.
Because eating does not follow a one-size-fits-all approach, it can be tricky to determine what foods and what quantity you need to properly fuel your body, fulfill your hunger and thrive. Dr. Antoine Geffrard of RMS Consultations in Southfield, MI, can help you create a nutritional plan that works for you.
What are the elements of a nutritious diet?
To ensure your body is taking in the essential nutrients and vitamins it needs to function, you should consume food from a variety of categories. Fruits and vegetables are a core food group, as they are rich in nutrients, vitamins, and fiber. Choosing produce of a wide variety of colors can help make sure you are getting a full range of nutritional benefits. If you are diabetic, you may need to limit your intake of fruits with high natural sugar content, such as grapes or pineapple.
While carbohydrates are seen as the enemy for some diets, starches are important for giving you energy. High fiber choices such as whole grains, sweet potatoes, beans, and lentils are good choices for maintaining a stable blood sugar level and maintaining a healthy weight. Sugary or processed foods are high in carbohydrates but low in nutritional benefits and should be limited, especially if you are overweight.
Proteins are essential for muscle development, and often offer the benefit of keeping you satiated. While meat and fish are high in protein, vegan and vegetarian protein sources are plentiful. Eggs, soy, beans, and legumes are lean protein sources, as are some grains like quinoa. Dairy offers protein as well as calcium.
Fats should not be avoided even if you are trying to lose weight. At RMS Consultations in Southfield, MI, we can help you distinguish between healthy and unhealthy fats. Nuts, seeds, some oils, and even produce like avocado include unsaturated fats which help with your body function and help keep hunger pains at bay. Trans and saturated fats, often found in foods like snack cakes or pastries, should be avoided.
How often should I eat?
Youth, individuals who have blood sugar issues, and those who are highly active will require more frequent meals and snacks. For most, three meals and a snack are sufficient, with caloric intake spaced evenly between the meals and a couple hundred calories reserved for a snack. Intermittent fasting is a recent trend but should not be attempted without consulting with your physician.
Let Dr. Geffrard of RMS Consultations in Southfield, MI, guide you on the path of lifelong good nutrition. Schedule a visit by calling 248-663-5353.