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;
- carbohydrates– 59-60g of total calories should come from carbohydrates. These are energy giving foods and include, bread, potatoes, spaghetti, rice,ugali, chapati etc
- Proteins- 12-15g of the calories should be proteins. These are body building food e.g meat, eggs, fish , chicken, milk
- Vitamins and minerals– These are protective foods that improve our immune system e.g oranges, mangoes, vegetables etc
The five basic food groups
Bread , cereal , rice and pasta. Eat 6-11 servings a day. These are energy giving foods.
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.
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
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.
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.
- Eat a variety of foods from each of the five groups
- Maintain healthy weight
- Eat plenty of vegetables
- Choose diet low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. Use unsaturated oil for cooking e.g olive, corn or sunflower.
- Use sugar in moderation
- Drink plenty of water and if you drink alcohol do so in moderation
- 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.