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For example, the current UK Governmental recommendation is for an individual to consume at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day, which an individual following the above diet would have achieved. It is also recommended that the fruit and vegetables consumed are not all the same colour, again something that this diet provides. Fruit and vegetables are one of the major food groups, the others being starch-based (pasta, rice, bread), protein (meat, fish, eggs), dairy (milk, cheese) and foods containing fat and sugar, although all are needed in different proportions (see diagram 1). Eating a variation of foods from these different groups is essential in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and the inverse is true – less than adequate quantities from these groups could lead to some serious health problems. Fruit and Vegetables As already discussed, the above diet would provide all the essential fruit and vegetable nutrition for the day. However, it is advisable to eat a wide variety within this group, and thus different combinations within this group should be used throughout the week. Starch The diet above includes three portions of starch – the breakfast porridge, the garlic and the whole meal pasta in the evening. It is recommended that starch in the diet should be whole meal and from complex carbohydrates. Consuming whole meal and complex carbohydrates has been proven to keep blood sugar more consistent throughout the day, as well as increasing insulin sensitivity which can help prevent overeating and obesity. We can assume that the garlic bread found in the diet above has less nutritional value than the other two starch portions and as such could be eliminated from the day and replaced to ensure that calorie input is adequate. Protein Protein is especially important in the human diet, because humans cannot synthesize all 21 amino acids and thus must obtain them nutritionally (Zoumbaris, 2009). Nutritional proteins, found in meat products and egg albumin, for example, can be broken down into their constituent amino acids and as a result are important for the conservation of life. During the day specified above, the individual consumed chicken breast for lunch, and many of the vegetables will also contain amino acids. The chicken breast could be easily replaced for a vegetarian diet with an egg or some baked beans – both high in protein content. Dairy Dairy products are particularly important for obtaining calcium, a mineral that regulates muscle contraction and blood clotting, as well as ensuring that teeth and bones are strong. Calcium cannot be synthesized in the body and thus must be obtained nutritionally, thus making dairy products necessary. Contrary to popular belief (and diagram 1) it is not only dairy products that contain calcium and this food group can be replaced in the lactose intolerant by certain types of leafy green vegetables, almonds, sesame seeds or calcium enriched milk alternatives. Calcium is not needed in particularly large quantities and the portion of milk in the porridge mentioned above may be adequate. Fat & Sugar Fat and sugar are needed in smaller amounts than any other food type. Fat comes in two types, saturated and unsaturated, and it is currently recommended that saturated fat is consumed in quantities of less than 30g in adult men, with total fat intake being less than 90g a day. Although an excess of fat can be harmful, it should be noted that some fats are needed ...Show more


Introduction Food is something that is necessary to life, but it is not often easy to acquire all the nutrients required for health and longevity. This essay will explore an example of a daily diet and then use this to analyse each of the food groups and discussing possible improvements to the diet…
Author : margarettemarks
Biology essay example
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