How the Study Session 2 Dietary Guidelines For Americans stacks up Against Other Cultures
The word food can mean many different things, but when used in the context of a diet, it typically means food that is used to satisfy one’s physical need for food. Food is defined as any material consumed to supply nutrition to an organisms internal system. Food is normally of animal, plant or even fungal source, and often contains vital nutrients, like proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. There are three main food groups: animal foods, which include milk, cheese, eggs and fish; plant foods, which include fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains; and fungi, which includes mushrooms and fermented foods.
A healthy diet should contain a variety of these different food groups. Animal products, especially meat, eggs and dairy products, are rich in protein and iron, which is necessary for building strong bones, teeth and the immune system. Plant products, which include whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole-grains and nuts, are rich in carbohydrates and vitamins. Foods with a higher percentage of carbohydrates are also known as fibrous foods, including pasta, bread, rice and cereal grains; whereas foods with a higher percentage of complex carbohydrates, such as potatoes, rice cakes and pasta, are considered starchy. Fibrous foods have a better-than-average ability to move nutrients around the body, providing the energy needed to carry on with the day. Because carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is used by the body for energy, excess carbohydrates should be avoided, as they can lead to weight gain.
According to the study session 2 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a serving of grains and cereals each day is the minimum that a person should take in a day. Meats, beans and potatoes are good choices because they contain the essential substances, but some argue that they take too much. A small amount of grain should be eaten each day to satisfy one’s hunger, though most studies indicate that a balanced diet is the best way to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. It is also recommended that people take in five to six servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Pasta and beans are staples of the American diet, but not everyone eats them all the time. The best approach is to incorporate at least two types of grains and at least two to three servings of vegetables each day.