Life Skills Development/Unit One/Wellness and Self Care (Nutrition)/Lesson

From WikiEducator
Jump to: navigation, search
Is this your idea of a balanced diet?

What is a balanced diet?

A healthy diet is a diet that does not contain excessive quantities of fat, sugar or salt, and that provides enough vitamins and minerals for the body to function at peak efficiency. The consensus is that you have to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables per day. Various attempts to better this have been made – for example the Atkins diet.

What are the Food Groups?

There are six basic food groups:

Examples of healthy fruit.


  • Fruit Groups should provide 4 daily servings, or 2 cups

Fruits can be enjoyed a number of ways: fresh, canned, frozen, dried, whole, cut-up, or pureed. Go easy on the fruit juices, though; they contain a lot of natural sugars. Besides the standards such as apples, bananas, oranges, peaches, pears and plums, try mangoes, blackberries, papayas, hybrid melons and avocados.

How much should you eat? Most of us should EAT MORE!

Choose a wide variety and aim to eat at least 5 different portions a day. A portion is approximately 80g (e.g. 1 medium apple). Servings of fruit juice or smoothies can only count as one portion per day no matter how much you drink.

Healthy eating tips

  • Choose fruit as a snack
  • Add dried or fresh fruit to breakfast cereals
  • Try not to eat the same fruits every day

Yummy Veggies


  • Vegetable Group should provide 5 servings, or 2.5 cups.

Go for the brights: the deeper the colour, the greater the concentration of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Dark green and orange vegetables, from broccoli, watercress to squash and sweet potatoes, are several excellent choices. Dried beans and peas, such as black beans and kidney beans, count in the vegetable category as well as the meat and beans group. 100 percent vegetable juice counts, too.

How much should you eat? Most of us should EAT MORE!

Choose a wide variety and aim to eat at least 5 different portions a day. A portion is approximately 80g (e.g. a cereal bowl of salad or 3 heaped tablespoons of peas). Servings of vegetable juice or smoothies can only count as one portion per day no matter how much you drink. Beans and pulses (i.e. kidney, baked, soya and butter beans, chickpeas and lentils) only count once per day no matter how many different types you eat.

Healthy eating tips

  • Choose chopped vegetables as a snack
  • Have a salad with sandwiches or with pizza
  • Add vegetables to casseroles and stews and fruit to desserts
  • Try not to eat the same vegetables every day

Crunchy Grain


  • Grain Group should provide 6 ounce-equivalents (1 ounce-equivalent means 1 serving), half of which should be whole grains.

Whole grains include whole wheat, brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain barley, millet, and popcorn. Whole grains are more nutritious than refined grains which include many breads, pastas, breakfast cereals and tortillas.

How much should you eat? Most of us should EAT MORE!

Base a third of your food intake on foods from this group, aiming to include at least one food from this group at each meal, e.g. potatoes with fish and vegetables, a chicken salad sandwich, stir-fried vegetables with rice, or porridge oats for breakfast.

Potatoes, yams, plantains and sweet potato fall into this group, rather than fruit and vegetables, because they contain starchy carbohydrates.

Healthy eating tips

  • Base your meals around foods from this group
  • Eat wholegrain or whole meal breads, pastas and cereals as well as white choices
  • Choose low fat oven chips rather than fried chips (oven chips fall into this food group but fried chips don’t)
  • Eating more foods from this group will help to reduce the proportion of fat and increase the amount of fibre in the diet
  • Avoid frying or adding too much fat to these foods

Wholesome Meats & Beans

Meat and beans

  • Meat and Beans Group should provide 5.5 ounce-equivalents or servings.

This group includes fish, poultry, eggs, beans, peas, nuts and seeds. Harvard Health suggests avoiding red meats because they contain a lot of saturated fat.

How much should you eat? EAT MODERATE AMOUNTS

Choose lower fat versions whenever you can. Some meat products, e.g. beef burgers and sausages, can be high in fat. Trim visible fat off meat where possible. It is recommended that you eat two portions of fish each week, one of which should be an oily fish (e.g. salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines or fresh tuna).

Alternatives These include nuts, tofu, mycoprotein, textured vegetable protein (TVP), beans such as kidney beans and canned baked beans, and pulses such as lentils. These foods provide protein, fibre and iron but unlike those listed above are not a rich source of zinc and generally provide no vitamin B12 (unless fortified).

Healthy eating tips

  • Choose lower fat meat products
  • Choose lean cuts of meat
  • Cut visible fat including skin from meat and poultry and drain away fat after cooking
  • Try to grill, roast or microwave meat and fish rather than frying
  • Eat oily fish once a week

Rich and Creamy Dairy

Milk and other dairy

  • Milk Group should provide 3 cups/servings.

As part of a healthy diet, it is recommended that you choose fat-free or low-fat dairy products. If you're lactose-intolerant, there are lactose-free and lower-lactose products, such as hard cheeses and yogurt. Harvard Health suggests a dairy or calcium supplement as an alternative to milk and cheese, which can contain a lot of saturated fat.

How much should you eat? EAT MODERATE AMOUNTS

Try to eat 2-3 servings a day. A serving of milk is a 200ml glass, a serving of yogurt is a small pot (150g), a serving of cheese is 30g (matchbox size). Choose lower fat versions whenever you can, such as semi-skimmed milk, low fat yogurt and reduced fat cheese.

Healthy eating tips

  • Choose low fat milk i.e. semi-skimmed or skimmed milk
  • Choose low fat yogurts and reduced fat cheeses

Greasy Oils


  • Oils should provide 24g or 6 teaspoons.

Oils are a major source of fats in your diet. Common plant and fish oils include: canola oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, olive oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, and sunflower oil. Most of the fats you eat should be polyunsaturated (PUFA) or monounsaturated (MUFA) fats.

How much should you eat? Most people need to EAT LESS!

It is essential to have a small amount of fat in the diet, but eat foods containing fat sparingly as they are high in energy. Look out for reduced fat or low fat alternatives (by law any food labelled as low fat must contain no more than 3g of fat per 100g).

Fats can be divided into saturate, monounsaturate and polyunsaturate. Limit consumption of saturates, associated with animal products, cakes, biscuits and pastries, to reduce risk of heart disease. To cut down on saturates, make use of the information on nutrition panels on food products, cut off visible fat from meat and poultry, choose lower fat meat and dairy products, and where fat is needed in cooking use it sparingly.

Choose fats and oils containing monounsaturates (e.g. olive and rapeseed oils) and polyunsaturates (e.g. sunflower, corn and rapeseed oils) instead of saturates.

In moderation these are not associated with an increased risk of heart disease – but still use them sparingly. There are two types of

Healthy eating tips

  • Eat small quantities of these foods
  • Choose low fat or reduced sugar foods where possible
  • Use spreads and oils sparingly – opt for vegetable fats and oils
  • Try to limit consumption of sugar containing foods and drinks between meals
  • Try not to add fat to foods when cooking essential fats, which must be supplied by the diet in small amounts: omega-3 fatty acids (e.g. found in oily fish, walnuts, omega-3 enriched eggs, and rapeseed and soya oil) and omega-6 fatty acids (e.g. found in vegetable oils such as sunflower, corn and soya oil and spreads made from these).

Sugar adds flavour and sweetness to foods, but frequent consumption of sugar-containing foods and drinks is associated with an increased tendency towards tooth decay.

Which would you pick?

What is the main thing that I should ensure that I have in my diet?


  • Water is the medium for various enzymatic and chemical reactions in the body. It is also the solvent of the body and it regulates all functions, including the activity of everything it dissolves and circulates.
  • The digestion of solid foods depends on the presence of copious amounts of water. Acids and enzymes in the stomach break the food down into a homogenized fluid state which can pass into the intestine for the next phase of digestion. An “acid stomach” will respond to hydration, whereas constipation is a frequent symptom of dehydration. Increased water along with increased fibre will usually eliminate a problem. Water eliminates toxins and waste from the body.
  • Adults lose nearly 6 pints (12 cups of water everyday. We lose ½ cup to 1 cup a day from the soles of our feet. Another 2 to 4 cups is lost from breathing. Perspiration accounts for another 2 cups. Another 3 pints (6 cups) are lost in urine.
  • Brain tissue is 85% water. Although the brain is only 1/50th of the body weight, it uses 1/20th of the blood supply. With dehydration, the level of energy generation in the brain is decreased. Depression and chronic fatigue syndrome are frequently results of dehydration. Migraine headaches may be an indicator of critical body temperature regulation at times of "heat stress." Dehydration plays a major role in bringing on migraines. Dehydration causes stress and stress causes further dehydration.

Previous.png | Next.png