Minimum Variety of Foods Needed for Health

Many people desire to lose weight, however, there is a variety and a minimum of food needed to maintain health.   You will want to know how to lose weight without harming your health. The USDA will soon be publishing its newest recommendations. For additional information see the USDA Food Pyramid and Choose My Plate at  and



COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES (Starches) = Fuel for all of body needs, fiber to fight artery and heart disease, and possibly diabetes and cancer see

Minimum = 2 servings of whole grain wheat bread or cereal each day. (B Vitamins, fiber.)

Increase minimum, depending on exercise and caloric needs, to maintain ideal body weight (IBW), usually 6 to 11 servings a day.

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, + or – 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, cane juice, corn syrup,high fructose cane syrup, ingredients that end in “ose”) provide “quick energy for a short time.”

Except for fruit, diabetics and pre-diabetics (check your waistline or your family history) need to limit simple carbohydrates listed here. The American Heart Association advises no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugars a day for women or 9 a day for men.

Fiber, soluble and insoluble, are part of the carbohydrate family. Insoluble fiber is needed to maintain health bowel habits and is found mainly in skins of fruits and vegetables and in the husks or brans of whole grains. Soluble fiber is helpful in maintain healthy heart, blood vessels and blood sugar levels. Oats, beans, berries, and apples are good sources.

PROTEINS (meats, dried peas & beans called legumes, nuts, cheese, eggs) = “Building blocks” to build and repair every tissue in the body, hair, and nails.

1 or 2 servings red meat each week for iron (1/4 lb. if raw, 3 ounces cooked.)

1 or 2 eggs per week for iron and blood building and for choline for nerve functioning in memory and in muscles.

Minimum = 1 or 2 serving of meat each day, poultry, fish, or combine legumes with whole grains or milk.

Persons who are growing, pregnant, or healing from injury or surgery need additional protein.

OILS (oils, margarine, 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.

(1/4 – 1/3 cup nuts provides approximately 1 T oil and protein equal to about 1 oz. meat.)

(Regular cheese, 1 1/2 oz. provides about 1 Tablespoon fat along with its protein.)

For more information see:

Minimum = 1 Tablespoon oil a day with meals including Vitamin A foods.

VITAMIN A sources (green and yellow vegetables and fruits), which protect the healthof

eyes, skin, mucous membranes, cartilage, and hair.

Minimum 1 serving a day.

VITAMIN D must be supplemented in your nutrition if you are not exposed to sunlight.

VITAMIN B COMPLEX (Whole gains, brans, wheat germ, meats, liver (be careful, many animals are exposed to toxins which store in their liver) milk for riboflavin.) B vitamins are necessary for all of body metabolism, nervous system, heart, anti-histamine, diuretic processes, and immune system.

Minimum = 2 servings whole grain wheat or its products a day (if not allergic to wheat).

VITAMIN C (Citrus fruits, tart berries, green pepper, cantaloupe, cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes,) is necessary to prevent and moderate infections, absorb calcium, reduce pain, and fight cancer.

Minimum = 1 citrus fruit a day. Smokers require more.

All together include at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

CALCIUM (Milk and its products, Broccoli) is 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) are necessary for all the life processes, temperature regulation, and to eliminate unneeded substances.

Minimum 8 cups a day. (that is, 4 pints = 2 quarts = 1/2 gallon of fluids.) Some illnesses require less fluid. Also children and small people may need less.

MINERALS are found richly in nuts, dried beans and peas, root vegetables, skins and husks, meat juices, peelings, and cooking water.

You might enjoy this discussion on “smart” blood sugar:

People who are pregnant, children, older, vegans, or ill may need supplements to their diets. For further discussion see:

If you have a bad effect from a supplement, you may report it at:


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