What’s on My Plate?

Hello fit fellas! Welcome back to FitRim!
Johny Johny, Yes Papa…….Eating sugar? No, papa……Telling lies? No, papa
Open your mouth…Ah, ah, ah!

Now Johny, tell me what’s on your plate?
‘My Plate’ is how USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) wishes your plate should be. Here, plate refers to any meal you eat during your day. If not in every meal, USDA suggests all of us to make sure to consume at least one food from each food compartment in a day. So, if you really look at the proportions, it is 30% grains, 40% vegetables, 10% fruits, 20% protein, and this is accompanied by dairy (a glass of milk or a cup of yogurt).

Grains:
Include more of whole grains like whole wheat, oatmeal, brown rice, millets, which contain vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, oils, and protein. Whole grains are good sources of fiber too! The refining process removes the (bran, germ) components and what remains is the endosperm which is mostly carbohydrate. Hence, limit the intake of refined grains like white rice, white bread etc., and consume more of whole grains.

Fruits & Vegetables:
Including different variety of whole vegetables & fruits and also choosing from wide range of colors of vegetables & fruits is important. The greater the variety the greater the benefits. Maintaining the variety in your choices is highly recommended by USDA. Each color has it’s own unique disease fighting chemicals, and these are called phytochemicals. I am, of course, not referring to the artificially colored foods! The variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables have great amount of healing power, and that is why there’s a saying “Eat a Rainbow”.

Protein:
Protein is the king and everyone today speaks only and only of protein. We all know protein is used to build and repair our muscle tissues. Muscle refers to strength and we all need good muscle to stay strong and thus, we all need to consume protein as an important component of our meals. Now Johny, tell me how much % of My Plate is protein? It’s 20%. That means, though protein is important, it’s silly to eat only protein all day. Do remember that protein should go along with grains, vegetables and fruits. Else, you miss out on the other major & minor nutrients which are equally important for your body functioning. Even while choosing the protein, make sure to include variety of foods from nuts, seeds, fish, poultry, lean meat, legumes, paneer, soya and the list goes on.

Dairy:
This includes fate-free or low-fat milk, curd or yogurt and any other dairy products. These provide protein, calcium and other important nutrients. It is interesting to observe that dairy falls into such a category in My Plate that, you are good to go even without this component. But, you need to make sure you get the nutrients that dairy provides, through some other food component. People who like dairy and cannot do a day without it, there’s no harm! Please go ahead and consume your favorite dairy products, but make sure to keep a check on the overall saturated fat content that is going into your system in a day. For a super healthy living, limit your saturated fat intake to 15-20 g per day.

The one thing which you should keep in mind: Any component of My Plate should be taken in moderation, which is in and around the percentages mentioned. Anything more than required is not expected by your digestive system and can cause issues. If you see, all the major nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fats) and minor nutrients (vitamins, minerals) are covered in My Plate. Of course, apart from all these components, water should be a given thing in your diet through out the day. Water is the most important nutrient, which is required to carry out any basic function in your body.

© FitRim 2019.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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