How to design a complete meal?

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Healthy nutrition is the key for having good overall health and preventing multiple diseases. In order to get your dietary needs, you need to have adequate meals that cover all the nutrients requirements. 

Having a balanced diet can be an easy task and preparing complete meals does not need a strong base in nutrition. You  can just follow some guidelines and tips that will help you design your very own meals fulfilling all your nutritional needs.

A complete meal should contain:

A source of carbohydrates that provides the body with the energy needed for the daily functions. Examples for carbohydrates are cereals, rice, bread, oats, cakes, biscuits and tubers as potatoes. Half of your daily energy needs must come from carbohydrates; they should represent one-quarter (¼) of your plate.

A source of protein that helps tissue and muscle building, and provides the body with iron and vitamins. Examples for proteins are red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and pulses like lentils and beans. Protein rich food should represent one quarter (¼) of your plate. Athletes can increase their portions of protein to cover their tissue and muscle needs.

Fruits and vegetables to provide the body with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Moreover, they are a good source of fibers that helps in digestion. Fruits and vegetables should represent half of your plate. So, a colorful salad plate and a fruit can be enough. We know salad can be boring, so renovate in your salads by adding unusual ingredients as nuts, toasted bread or even fruits. This will increase its nutritional value too.

A dairy product to gain the daily needs of calcium, a crucial element for the bone and teeth health. Examples of dairy products are milk, cheese (all types), yogurt, and milk-based desserts as rice pudding or mehalabeya. A dairy portion in each meal is sufficient for your body, but pregnant women and children have to increase their dairy consumption to cover their increasing needs of calcium.

We cannot forget fats and sugar. Although they are considered unhealthy food yet they are essential for the body functions. The body needs fats to construct tissues and regulat hormones. Depriving your body from fats may lead to dangerous outcomes. The key is consuming them wisely. You should lessen fats in cooking your meals, lessen sugar in your drinks, and limit your desserts and fried food consumption.

The last component of the meal is water. You need to drink at least 8−10 glasses of water every day to keep your body hydrated. Also, water helps in regulating your body temperature, aids in digestion, and controls your appetite.

It is not so hard to have a healthy nutrition. You just need to keep this formula in mind every day when it is time to eat, and have the motivation to eat healthy and enjoy a healthy life. Of course,  do not forget to stay active; do physical exercise for 30 minutes daily.

Reference
choosemyplate.gov

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