Personalized Nutrition And Exercise Plan

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Personalized Nutrition and Exercise Plan

Personalized Nutrition and Exercise Plan

Dietary advice for all types of athletes is the same as for the general public. That is, eat a well-balanced diet from a wide variety of foods in sufficient amounts to meet energy needs. Experts agree the key to healthy eating is the time-tested advice of balance, variety and moderation. In short, that means eating a wide variety of foods without getting too many calories or too much of any one nutrient.

Because people need more than 40 different nutrients daily for good health, it is important to eat a variety of foods. No single food supplies them all. Diets that include a wide variety of foods not only reap the nutritional benefits, but may also help prevent disease and consequently live longer. Recent studies have found that people who ate wide varieties of foods had a lower risk of premature death than those who ate the same food year after year (Kromhout, 1985).

Your daily food selection should include bread and other whole-grain products; fruits; vegetables; dairy products; and meat, poultry, fish and other protein foods. How much you should eat depends on your calorie needs. Nutrition experts like the American Dietetic Association recommend that we eat a diet low in fat and high in complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are foods such as pasta, rice, potatoes, and breads. Generally, nutritionists suggest that we consume no more than 30 percent to 35 percent of our calories as fat, at least 55 percent as carbohydrates, and the remainder as protein (Bonaa, 1992).

The Food Guide Pyramid shown below is a practical tool to help you make food choices that are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Using the Pyramid enables you to eat a variety of foods daily so that you can get the nutrients you need. The basis of a healthful diet as shown in the Pyramid is foods from the grain products group, along with vegetables and fruits. Limit fats and sugars added in food preparation and at the table (Schaefer, Lichenstein, Lamon-Fava, et al, 1996).

Controlling Fat in Your Diet

All fats are a combination of saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. Each of these types of fats has different effects on the body, but all contain nine calories per gram. Fat is an essential nutrient that everyone needs to stay healthy. It is a valuable energy source and carries fat-soluble vitamins needed for proper growth and development (Ascherio, Rimm, Stampfer, et al, 1995). It also contributes important taste and textural qualities that are part of enjoying food. Too much fat, however, can increase the risk of heart disease, obesity and other health problems. Studies have shown that diets that are too high in certain saturated fatty acids and dietary cholesterol can raise blood cholesterol.

Health authorities recommend Americans consume 30 percent or less of their total daily calories from fat, with 10 percent or less of those calories from saturated fat. The 30 percent fat consumption refers to your total fat ...
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