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What is a Food Chart?

Article Details
  • Written By: Matthew F.
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 06 May 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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A healthy diet comes from the food people eat and drink. All the food which is consumed will impact each person in the long term. The food chart is designed so people will know which kind of foods should be consumed and how often each one should be consumed. Many people on a diet use a form of the food chart to help guide them in their daily food intake.

The food chart is divided into six categories from daily use to sparingly use. The group of food to be consumed most often is the bread, cereal, rice, and pasta. People should consume as many as six to 11 servings of grains a day. These foods contain carbohydrates which are the body’s most important source of energy. Whole grain foods contain the highest amounts of complex carbohydrates due to being processed less.

Vegetables and fruit are supposed to be eaten on a daily basis as well, according to the food chart. Fruits are essential to one’s body. They provide vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Vegetables contain many of the same benefits as fruits. The majority of the vegetables eaten on a daily basis contain water soluble and fat soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, B, C, and D. In a given day, people should eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Each vegetable and fruit contains different vitamins and minerals, so it is essential to have as many different kinds of vegetables and fruits as possible.

Meat contains vital nutrients such as protein, iron and zinc. While vegetables and fruits lack many amino acids, meats have a full balance of amino acids. On the opposite end of the spectrum, meat and poultry provide high amounts of fat and cholesterol. Too much fat and cholesterol can lead to diseases such as heart disease.

Fish is an excellent source of minerals, protein and vitamins. For people on a diet, fish is ideal because it is low in fat and calories. Fish is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent strokes and heart attacks. Nuts can contain many minerals including iron, magnesium and zinc. The high amounts of daily minerals are offset by the high fat and protein content. The food chart advises two to three portions of meat, poultry, nuts, and fish a day.

The dairy group typically provides necessary calcium to the body. It also provides a wide variety of protein, vitamins and minerals. People should consume two to three servings of milk, cheese and yogurt a day. Fats, oils and sweets should be avoided at all costs. The fats do not offer any nutritional value to the human body. The food chart suggests that people use them sparingly.

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