Healthy eating for better health

Its advisable to maintain a healthy life style by ensuring that everyday your meals contain the five food groups illustrated in the image below. The main nutrients are;

  1. carbohydrates– 59-60g of total calories should come from carbohydrates. These are energy giving foods and include, bread, potatoes, spaghetti, rice,ugali, chapati etc
  2. Proteins- 12-15g of the calories should be proteins. These are body building food e.g meat, eggs, fish , chicken, milk
  3. Vitamins and minerals– These are protective foods that improve our immune system e.g oranges, mangoes, vegetables etc

The five basic food groups

Group 1:

Bread , cereal , rice and pasta. Eat 6-11 servings a day. These are energy giving foods.

Group 2:

Meat, poultry, fish , beans , nuts and eggs. These protein sources . Eat these in moderation. 2-3 servings per day is recommended. One serving is equal to ; 60-85g of meat, 1 egg, 2 tbs of peanut butter, 1/2 cup cooked peas, beans or lentils.

Group 3:

Vegetable group. Eat 3-5 servings per day. Provides vitamins and minerals. One serving is equal to ; 1/2 cup of raw or cooked vegetables

Group 4:

Fruit group. Eat 2-3 servings per day. Provides energy vitamins and minerals. 1 serving is equal to ; 170ml fruit juices, 1 medium apple , banana, orange, 1/2 grape fruit or 1/4 cup dried fruit.

Group 4:

Milk , yoghurt and cheese . Eat 2-3 servings per day. Provides calcium, vitamin A and D, B complex, essential amino acids,fat and some carbohydrates. 1 serving is equal to ; 1 cup of milk or yoghurt or 1/2 cup of cheese.

Dietary guidelines

  1. Eat a variety of foods from each of the five groups
  2. Maintain healthy weight
  3. Eat plenty of vegetables
  4. Choose diet low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. Use unsaturated oil for cooking e.g olive, corn or sunflower.
  5. Use sugar in moderation
  6. Drink plenty of water and if you drink alcohol do so in moderation

Healthy tips

  • Drink 8 glasses of water daily
  • Natural foods are preferred over the processed ones
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat regular meals do not skip them
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Reduce sugar, fat and salt intake.

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