In recent decades, scientific research has rapidly expanded the understanding of human nutrition, but this may make a healthy diet seem much more complicated than it used to be. A balanced meal is a snapshot of a diet that covers the three core food groups. As seen on this portion plate, the balance is a quarter proteins, a quarter carbohydrates and half vegetables 1. These provide the body with energy, measured in kilojoules or kilocalories 2. Vitamins and minerals are classed as micronutrients because they are only required in small amounts. Water is also an essential macronutrient, as the volume produced by the body through metabolic processes falls far short of the amount we lose every day through perspiration, urine, faeces and respiration. Despite cultural variations, food is always grouped according to the main functions of its key nutrients. Depending how specific we want to be, foodstuffs can be further categorised in up to eight groups, which is why national dietary guidelines around the world may vary regarding the foodstuffs used, but remain very similar regarding overall nutrient needs 3. Carbohydrate-rich food includes rice, pasta, quinoa, couscous, potatoes, bread, barley, oats and other cereals.
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Error: This is required. Error: Not a valid value. Simple guidelines from qualified experts make it easy to have a balanced diet and nutritious and healthy food. The best way to eat for health is to choose a variety of foods from each of the 5 food groups every day.