Whenever we talk about diet, there are numerous things that come to mind. There are mainly two meanings of the word diet. They both relate to food. First, one can be defined as food that we take into our bodies. For example, eating a well-balanced diet. Another one can be defined as losing weight.

A balanced diet contains proper portions of five basic food groups. To ensure optimum health and a balanced diet, it is essential to have a proper portion of each group, each day. The amount of food needed gets smaller as we move up the “pyramid”. Bread, rice, cereal, and pasta are in the bottom group. 6 to 11 servings every day from this group are needed.

After that, on the pyramid is the vegetable group. Nearly everyone requires 3 to 5 servings from this group daily. The vegetable group gives you vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A and C, as required. After that, is the fruit group. We need about 2 to 4 servings of this group per day. Fruits give you vitamin C, fiber, carbohydrates, and more.

Next is the milk, yogurt, and cheese group. People need 2 to 3 servings of this group per day. This group gives you calcium and protein. Drinking milk and eating cheese and/or yogurt is a great way to get your daily allowance.

Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts are the last group. We do not need much of this group every day, but this group is very important. 2 to 3 servings per day are required.

In addition to the food pyramid, it was discovered by doctors and scientists that fats, sweets, and oils are an important ingredient of a healthy diet. This is mentioned, although it is separate from the pyramid. The food we eat normally contains the required fats, so we need not add additional fatty or sweet food. This food can be delicious, but we always try to avoid an excess of this type of fatty or sweet food.

If you are referring to a weight-loss diet, you are talking about changing or restricting your diet somehow to reduce calories, fat, or others to lose weight. No diet should be used without talking to your doctor first. There are many diets on the market and medications to help people diet. The problem with dieting when not under a doctor’s care is that you may be losing nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. You may be trying to lose weight because you are overweight or obese, but can be doing more harm by restricting vitamins and minerals that your body needs.

Remember, if you are in doubt as to what your body needs, please consult your doctor.

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