Food is broken down into the following five accepeted groups:
Bread, cereals and potatoes
Fruit and vegetables
Milk and diary foods
Meat, fish and alternatives
Fatty and sugary foods
To get the wide range of nutrients the body needs to remain healthy it is important to choose a variety of foods from the first four groups every day. Foods in the fifth group (fatty and sugary foods) are not essential to a healthy diet but add extra choice and taste.
How Much Do We Need
The amout of calories that we require will vary from one individual to another but the proportions of food from the different groups should remain the same.
The factors that affect people's daily energy requirements are:
Gender - women tend to need less calories than men
Age - older adults need less calories than adolescents and young adults
Overweight - being heavier than their ideal weight means less calories is required to achieve a healthy weight
Physically active - the more active a person is, the greater their calorie needs
Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
You can get all the vitamin and minerals your body requires each day by having a variety of foods in your diet.
Women who are already or planning to become pregnant may need additional folic acid and/or iron and elderly people may need extra Vitamin D and/or iron. Your doctor will be able to advise if you require additional Vitamin and mineralsupplements.
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