Diet Information
Healthy Eating Plan For Optimum Weight and Nutrition

Healthy Eating

Diet Information

What is a Healthy Eating Plan?

For optimum health and weight, a diet plan should conform to the following guidelines:

- It should be balanced, meaning it should include foods from all food groups.
- Foods selected from these groups should be nutrient dense.
- Total calorie intake should be in accordance with calorie needs for a healthy weight.
- How Healthy Are Your Eating Habits?

Healthy Eating Means Including All Food Groups

In simple terms, foods may be divided into 6 main food groups. (1) Fruits and vegetables, (2) grains, (3) dairy foods, (4) meat, poultry and fish, (5) seeds, nuts and beans, (6) fats and oils.

Each main food group is the most important contributor of at least one nutrient while being a useful source of many other nutrients. As each food group typically provides a range of macronutrients and micronutrients in significant amounts, it is important to incorporate all food groups within your daily diet.

Healthy Eating Means Choosing Nutrient Dense Foods

A nutrient-dense food is one that includes substantial amounts of vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) but relatively few calories. Food products that are low in nutrient density are ones that typically contain calories but only small amounts of vitamins and minerals. If we consume too many foods or drinks that are low in nutrient density, chances are we will not obtain sufficient nutrition and we will gain weight, especially if we lead a sedentary lifestyle. To avoid the health dangers of this combination of malnutrition and weight gain, restrict your intake of very sugary foods, regular sodas, saturated and trans-fats.

Although nutrient deficiency (mineral or vitamin deficiencies) is common throughout the population of North America, one nutrient - sodium - is consumed to excess. In fact, the average American diet contains at least 3 times the recommended daily amount of sodium (2,400 milligrams per day). Hardly surprising, since 1 tsp of salt contains 2,300 milligrams of sodium. A high intake of sodium is associated with hypertension (raised blood pressure) an important health predictor of heart attacks and stroke.

Healthy Eating Involves a Correct Calorie For Your Weight

Excessive consumption of high-calorie foods, aggravated by the growth in food servings (eg. super-sizing in restaurants) as well as over-abundance of vending machines and food outlets is a major cause of the surge in obesity and obesity-related illness rates in adults, children and teenagers. A healthy eating plan should address this problem of overeating by providing enough calories in order to maintain the correct energy balance.

Calorie Needs

See table below for energy requirements based on Estimated Energy Requirements (EER) from the Institute of Medicine Dietary Reference Intakes macronutrients report, 2002, calculated by gender, age, and activity level for median height and weight for ages up to 18 years yielding a BMI of 21.5 for adult females and 22.5 for adult males.

Table 1. Average Calorie Needs

   
Activity Level and Calories Needed
Gender Age in Years Sedentary Moderately Active Active
Child 2-3 1,000 calories 1000-1400 calories 1000-1400 calories
Female 4-8
9-13
14-18
19-30
31-50
51+
1,200
1,600
1,800
2,000
1,800
1,600
1,400-1,600
1,600-2,000
2,000
2,000-2,200
2,000
1,800
1,400-1,800
1,800-2,200
2,400
2,400
2,200
2,000-2,200
Male 4-8
9-13
14-18
19-30
31-50
51+
1,400
1,800
2,200
2,400
2,200
2,000
1,400-1,600
1,800-2,200
2,400-2,800
2,600-2,800
2,400-2,600
2,200-2,400
1,600-2,000
2,000-2,600
2,800-3,200
3,000
2,800-3,000
2,400-2,800

Notes:

  • A sedentary activity level: Includes only light physical activity associated with typical day-to-day life.
  • Moderately active: Includes physical activity equivalent to walking about 1.5 to 3 miles per day at 3 to 4 miles per hour, in addition to the light physical activity associated with typical day-to-day life.
  • Active: Includes physical activity equivalent to walking more than 3 miles per day at 3 to 4 miles per hour, in addition to the light physical activity associated with typical day-to-day life.
  • All calorie estimates rounded off to the nearest 200 calories.

Source:
Institute of Medicine

See also: Healthy Diet, Healthy Diet Plan, Healthy Diet Meals and Dietary Guidelines 2005

Back to Top


DIETING and WEIGHT MANAGEMENT

BEST DIET | Free Diet Plan | Diet Program to Lose Weight | How to Lose Weight | Calorie Needs | Weight Loss Advice | Free Diets - Special Conditions | Diet Questions | Diet Advice For Men | Best Online Diet Plan | Best Weight Loss Diet Plan | How to Lose Weight Fast | Do Diet Programs Work | Types of Weight Loss Programs | Diet Tips | Best Forum For Diet Support | New Diets and Dieting Articles | Obesity Advice | Weight Chart | Help to Lose Weight | Diet Pills Advice | Side Effects | Xenical Fat Blockers | Meridia Diet Pills | Do Weight Loss Pills Work | Laxatives to Lose Weight | Weight Management Guidelines | Surgery for Weight Loss | Health Risks | Gastric Bypass Diet | Eating Disorders | How to Stop Bingeing | Weight Loss & Exercise | Weight Loss After Pregnancy | Diet Recipes | Diet Newletter | Weight Loss Resources | Diet & Weight Loss Links

REVIEWS OF DIETS

Reviews of Diets | Atkins Diet | Cabbage Soup Diet | Cider Vinegar Diet | Fad Diets | Food Combining | Grapefruit Diet | High Fiber Diets | Jenny Craig Diet | Low Calorie Diets | Low Fat Diets | Low GI Diet | Metabolic Typing Diet | Peanut Butter Diet | Scarsdale Diet | South Beach Diet | Sugar Busters | Three Hour Diet | Weight Watchers Diet | Zone Diet | Weight Loss Diet Reviews

SPECIAL DIETARY NEEDS and FOODS

Diets for ADD/ADHD | Alcohol & Dietary Health | Diet For Alcoholics | Arthritis Diet | Blood Pressure Diet | Bodybuilding Diet | BRAT Diet | Cancer Diet | Candida Diet | Cholesterol Lowering Diet | Constipation Diet | Crohn's Disease | DASH Diet | Detox Diet | Diabetic Diet Tips | Gluten Free Diet | Healthy Heart Diet | High Protein Diets | Hyperactivity Diet | Indian Diet | Irritable Bowel Diet | Lactose Intolerance | Lactose-Free Non-Dairy Calcium | Low Sodium Diet | Medical Diet | Mediterranean Diet | Menopause Diet | Migraine Dietary Advice | PMS Diet | Renal Diet | Smokers Diet | Vegetarian

DIETARY NUTRITION, HEALTHY EATING, GLYCEMIC INDEX and CALORIES

Latest Dietary Guidelines | Healthy Diet | Diet For Children | Diet For Teens | Diet Nutrition Advice | Fat in Food | Best Fats | How Much Fat Needed | Guide to Glycemic Index | Guide to Glycemic Load | GI Per Food Serving | GI Values For Food Groups | Carbs & Glycemic Index | Low Carb Diets | Daily Carb Needs | How Much Fiber Needed | Folate Intake RDA | Calcium Intake RDA | Protein Intake RDA | Sugar Intake | Food Calorie Charts

Diet-i.com provides general information on healthy eating, special diets and weight loss programs, diet nutrition, diet pills and weight loss surgery. However no advice given here is intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. For the sake of your health, always consult your doctor before making any significant dietary, nutritional or lifestyle changes. Copyright 2001-2017 Diet Information. All rights reserved.