What is a Good Nutritional Diet Plan For Women?

If you’re a fan of the Food Network, you might feel overwhelmed with the thought of trying to embark on any kind of a nutritional diet plan. Especially if you’re a woman.

I’ve been trying out different diets for years, trying one “fad” diet after the other and never getting very far at all until the past few years. What changed for me? I decided to go back to the basics and eat very simple but easy to prepare food. I also took another look at the American Diabetic Association’s food guide. So, though when you look at television and even flip some diet cookbooks, try to remember that healthy eating can honestly be relatively easy and uncomplicated.

You can actually base your diet around starchy foods like pasta, potatoes and rice. As long as you add lots of fresh fruit and plenty of veggies you will be okay. Don’t forget your protein at lunch at dinner. In my opinion, protein is the building block of any healthy food plan. It’s what allows your body to build lean muscle and lean muscle is what burns fat. Your diet will also need to incorporate dairy products such as milk and cheese but there are lots of low-fat cheeses to choose from and 1% fat milk is always your best friend. It will fill you up without piling on lots of extra calories.

Consuming a healthy diet is all about balance and portion size. This means that you will have to choose from a wide variety of different foods and drink lots of fresh water. If you live in either England or the United States where the average person is either overweight or clinically obese, you may find yourself doubly challenged. This can be difficult especially if you eat a lot of fast food or processed food. If you are spending long hours at the pub each week tossing back lots of ale, then you’re also going to have a hard time consuming a good nutritional diet plan.

The Different Food Groups

Nutritious foods are divided into five different categories and they are:

  • vegetables and fruit

  • grain products

  • milk and dairy products

  • protein (meat and fish)

  • oils and fats

But I don’t want to eat fats and oils, I’m on a diet! you might be saying to yourself. Oils and and other healthy fats are very important to your body. Your body must have a certain amount of fat in it if it wants to process other foods well. You don’t need a lot of fat or healthy oils, but you do need some. Don’t entirely limit fat and oil from any weight loss diet.

Fruit and Vegetables:

Fruits-and-VegetablesBecause fruit and veggies are such a vital source of minerals and vitamins, a health nutritional plan will include about five servings of each per day. Research has shown that people who do consume this amount of fruit and vegetables significantly lower their risk for both heart disease and stroke. A portion of a fruit might be as small as just one medium sized banana. Alternatively, just one slice of fresh pineapple can count as one serving. So, you don’t have to be eating oodles and oodles of fruit and veggies every day if that’s not your thing. It’s certainly not mine. I actually don’t like fruit or veggies very much but I eat them now. You will find that if you start to incorporate small bits of fruits and veggies into your diet that you will be able to work  yourself up to the five servings per day with minimal fuss. If you swap out your morning donut for a small tangerine, you’ve added one serving already!

Starchy foods

starchy-food-in-your-dietAbout ⅓ of our daily diet should be made up of starchy foods. That means it is fine to go ahead and base your meals around starchy foods like potatoes and pasta. Potatoes are also rich in fiber if you don’t remove the skin. So when you bake a potato, go ahead and leave the skin on and eat it. It’s good for you and if your potato has been baked in an oven rather than a microwave, it will taste delicious.

If you’re going to eat pasta, switch from white grain pasta to whole wheat pasta. This will bump up your protein level enormously and remember what I said about protein? It is the building block of every balanced nutritional plan.

Meat, fish, eggs and beans

nutritional-diet-for-womenMeat, fish, eggs and beans are all excellent sources of protein. In addition, they also provide a hefty amount of vitamins and minerals your body needs. Meat contains iron and zinc and B vitamins. In fact, meat is one of the best sources of vitamin B12 — no need to take a B12 vitamin if you’re eating at least one serving of red meat per week, well-cooked, of course.

Fish is also very high in protein but even more importantly, if you are eating “oily fish” such as sardines or salmon, it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. You should try to have fish about twice a week.

Milk and dairy foods

milk-dairy-productsMilk and other dairy products are also excellent sources of protein. Dairy products also contain calcium which is needed to strengthen and keep bones healthy. You will definitely want to enjoy reaping all the benefits of dairy products in your diet without the added calories it can bring. So choose either 1% milk or skim milk. Cheeses like cottage cheese and 0% fat yogurt (Greek yogurt) are also high in protein without the extra fat content.

Fats

In general, most people who live in western countries consume way too much fat and sugar. Processed foods are saturated with both of these things. The more processed food you can avoid, the more successful your diet plan will be in the long run. That being said, fat is an essential component for every single diet and every person needs to consume a certain amount of fat each day if they want to remain healthy. But do you know that there are different kinds of fat?

Saturated fats, the kind found in things like cakes, sausages and pie (think solid when chilled) are high in cholesterol and ultimately clog your arteries leading to heart disease. These should be avoided at all cost, if possible.

Unsaturated fats such as olive oil, the type of oils found in nuts and avocados are good for you. You can use and eat these liberally without worrying too much about what they are doing to your body. When you are dieting, though, it is best to measure them.

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