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Healthy Eating Essay

1390 words - 6 pages

Healthy, balanced eating habits provide nutrients to your body. Nutrients give you energy and keep your heart beating, your brain active, and your muscles working. Nutrients help build and strengthen bones, muscles, and tendons and also regulate body processes, such as blood pressure. Using the tools provided on the MyPyramid website, I was able to evaluate and analyze what I eat and compare it to what I should be eating. The MyPyramid daily recommendations for me are to eat 7 ounce of grains, 3 cups of vegetables, 2 cups of fruits, 3 cups of dairy, and 6 ounces of meat & beans. I know that I don't currently get enough of most food groups but using this information I can see where my diet is lacking and take steps to get healthier.By eating a healthy, balanced diet, I will get the necessary nutrients as well. The six classes of nutrients are water, vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Nutrients have three functions: to provide energy, promote growth and development, and regulate body function. Most nutrients have more than one function. Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats provide energy. Proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water all promote growth and development as well as regulate body function. The opposite of nutrient rich foods are nutrient lacking foods, called empty calories. These foods are high in calories but have no nutritional value. Some examples are French fries, fried chicken, chips, candy, pop, alcoholic beverages, and refined grains like crackers and cookies. I have a bad habit of eating a lot of empty calories. I eat French fries often which can contain up to 30g or total fat with no nutrients. I drink often as well and alcohol has a lot of calories but nothing else.MyPyramid suggests making sure that at least half of the grains I consume are whole grains. Whole grains contain the entire kernel: the bran, germ, and endosperm. Some examples of whole grains are whole wheat flour, bulgur, oatmeal, whole cornmeal, and brown rice. This is where you'll find good carbs. Good carbs are digested more slowly than bad carbs. This keeps your blood sugar and insulin levels from rising and falling too quickly, helping you get full quicker and feel fuller longer. Sticking to good carbs in your diet can help prevent heart disease and cancer prevention. I eat a lot of refined grains, however. These are bad carbs. They have been milled, thus removing the bran and germ from the grain. This gives the grains a finer texture and helps to improve their shelf life but it removes the fiber, iron, and most of the B vitamins. They digest so quickly that they cause dramatic elevations in blood sugar, which over time can lead to weight gain, hypoglycemia or even diabetes. Some examples of refined grains are white flour, degermed cornmeal, white bread, and white rice. The problem I have is with bread. I was raised eating white bread and don't like other kinds.My vegetable intake is what I struggle with the most. I'm sure this is the...

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