A Quick List of Foods Required to Meet Nutritional Needs
This list is primarily for healthy adults. Illness changes nutritional needs and may be addressed with higher “doses” and sometimes additional supplements in therapeutic nutrition.For therapeutic level information, I suggest:
“Prescription for Natural Cures: A Self-Care Guide for Treating Health Problems with Natural Remedies Including Diet, Nutrition, Supplements, and Other Holistic Methods, Revised Edition” by James F. Balch, M.D., Mark Stengler, N.M.D. and Robin Young Balch, N.D., published in 2011 by John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
For healthy adults serving sizes go to http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Caregiver/Replenish/WhatisaServing/What-is-a-Serving_UCM_301838_Article.jsp
COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES (Starches) bread, whole grains, potatoes, cooked carrots, peas, dried beans, and corn. Fuel for all of body needs, fiber to fight cancer and VITAMIN B COMPLEX (liver is high in B Vitamins but be careful, many animals are exposed to toxins which store in their liver; use milk for riboflavin.) B vitamins are necessary for all of body metabolism, nervous system, heart, anti-histamine, diuretic processes and immune system. B Complex supplements usually includes, B1, 2, 3, 6 and Folic Acid, however, there are other B related vitamins.
Minimum = 2 servings of whole grain wheat bread or cereal each day (if not allergic to wheat) as part of Minimum of 3 to 6 servings of starches daily is needed while losing weight depending on body size and activity. Starches are needed for stable blood sugar levels and to prevent cravings and subsequent bingeing. Whole grains, and fresh and frozen “starchy” vegetables with the peelings intact, also offer high levels of vitamins, minerals. and fiber. Avoid refined white flour products.
Increase minimum, depending on exercise and caloric needs, to maintain ideal body weight (IBW), usually 6 to 11 servings a day. A serving is one slice of a regular loaf of bread or 1/2 cup cooked grains or starchy vegetables.
IBW = Females, 100 lbs. for 5 foot height, plus 5 lbs. for each added inch of height. (Plus or minus 10 lbs. for heavy or light bony frame.)
Males, plus or minus five to ten pounds depending on body frame.
Weight loss, limit to 2 pounds a week if overweight or
Weight gain of 1 pound a week if underweight.
SIMPLE CARBOHYDRATES (sugar, honey, fruits) provide “quick energy for a short time.” Fruits are the better choice, however, those with “pre-diabetes hypoglycemia” will probably feel unwell, weak or shakey in about 20-30 minutes. So add some protein source to your snack. Sugar is “empty” calories with little or no minerals and no vitamins.
PROTEINS (meats, dried peas & beans called legumes, nuts, cheese, eggs). “Building blocks” to build and repair every tissue in the body, hair, and nails. VITAMIN B12 is naturally found in animal products, including fish (Clams 84 mcg in 3 oz, trout 5.4, salmon, 4.8, white tuna 2.5), meat (liver and beef 70.7 mcg in 3 oz), poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products. Vitamin B12 is required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis, fat and protein metabolism. Vitamin B12 is generally not present in plant foods, but fortified 100% for B12 breakfast cereals are a readily available source with high bioavailability for vegetarians. Vit B12 Minimum = 2.4 mcg, if pregnant 2.6 mcg, if lactating 2.8 mcg.
Protein Minimum = 1 or two servings of meat, poultry, fish or other protein each day, or combine legumes with whole grains or milk.
Persons who are growing, pregnant, or healing from injury or surgery need additional protein.
Large muscular persons need more than small persons.
Include: 1 or 2 servings red meat each week for iron (1/4 lb. if raw, 3 ounces cooked) (Vegetarians may need a supplement for iron.)
1 or 2 eggs per week for iron and blood building, and for choline and nerve functions in memory and muscles.
1 serving of fish, liver or beef each week which are rich in Vitamin B12 which is required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis, fat and protein metabolism.
OIL (oils, margarine without trans-fats, butter used sparsely, avoid hard fats) = necessary to absorb Vitamins A, D, E, & K and to manufacture hormones essential to life, and to form protective barrier to the brain and nerves against toxins and degeneration. Use cold pressed olive oil or polyunsaturated oils such as safflower, canola, and sunflower. VITAMIN E best sources: wheat germ oil 1 Tablespoon provides 20 mg; Sunflower seeds, dry roasted, 1 ounce 7.4; Almonds, dry roasted, 1 ounce 6.8; Sunflower oil, 1 tablespoon 5.6; Safflower oil, 1 tablespoon 4.6 mg. ) Destroyed by heating and exposure to air. Important for proper function of many organs in the body; also helps in immune function and is an antioxidant that helps slow down processes that damage cells. It also is a blood thinner. Minimum 15 mg/day = 22.4 I.U.
VITAMIN D often added to milk, you must supplement if your skin is not exposed to sunlight.
OIL Minimum = 1 Tablespoon a day with meals including Vitamin A.
(1/4-1/3 cup nuts provides approximately 1 Tablespoon oil and protein equal to about 1 oz. meat.)
(Regular cheese, 1 1/2 oz. provides about 1 Tablespoon fat along with its protein.)
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Minimum = 5 servings/da. Include:
GREEN, ORANGE, AND YELLOW VEGETABLES AND FRUITS for VITAMIN A which protects the health of eyes, skin, mucous membranes, cartilage, and hair. Remember to add a little oil to significantly improve absorption.
Minimum = 1 serving a day, 1 medium size, approximately 1 cup raw, 1/2 cup cooked.
Once a week include ONE DARK GREEN LEAFY GREEN Vegies for VITAMIN K, Kale and dandy lion greens are very rich, other greens or broccoli or brussels spouts for VITAMIN K essential to the body’s blood clotting process. Oil or fat helps absorption. Supplement or restrict Vitamin K only if prescribed by your doctor for a disease or medication affecting clotting. Serving = 1 cup chopped or 1/2 cup cooked.
CITRUS FRUIT, the sour or acidic fruits for VITAMIN C. Oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, and tangerines are most common. Kiwi and tart berries, green pepper, cantaloupe, cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes also provide VITAMIN C, necessary to prevent and fight infections and cancer, absorb calcium, reduce pain.
Minimum = 1 medium size citrus raw fruit a day. Smokers require more.
GRAPE JUICE or red grapes with their skins for Resveratrol and many other nutrients Serving = 1/2 cup
DAIRY PRODUCTS (Milk, cheese, yogurt (or Broccoli)) for CALCIUM necessary for growth of bones, nerve conduction, heart regularity, replace bone.
Minimum = Milk 4 cups for teens and in pregnancy 6 cups if nursing a baby 3 cups for women 2 cups for men
LIQUIDS (water, milk, beverages without caffeine, ice cream, jello, pudding, gravy, sauces) necessary for all of life processes, temperature regulation, and to eliminate unneeded substances.
Minimum = 6-8 glasses/day, adjust to prevent constipation and for some disease states.
NUTS (or dried beans and peas, root vegetables, skins and husks, meat juices, peelings, and cooking water)
for MINERALS. Necessary in body structure and processes.
Minimum Recommended 1/4 to 1/3 cup nuts each day, however, some nuts, especially peanuts are allergy offenders.
For more information about building a healthful diet, refer to the
Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2015 guidelines are being developed now)
U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food guidance system, MyPlate http://www.choosemyplate.gov
For a visual representation see My Plate Mini-Poster