The health plate: how to have a healthy and balanced diet

Any time is the right time to take care of your eating routine: in fact, following a balanced diet helps to strengthen and maintain a healthy body and mind. In this regard in 2015, scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health formulated an ad hoc graphic to summarize what the health plate should look like.

What is the health plate?

The health plate is a circular chart divided into different wedges according to the type of food: vegetables, fruits, grains, quality proteins, condiments, and beverages.

Through what is called the health plate, clear and precise directions are provided for people to follow a healthy eating behavior.

Vegetables

That of vegetables represents the largest segment of the plate: in fact, vegetables are rich in vitamins, polyphenols, minerals and fiber. Within the healthy dish, vegetables can be included in multiple forms, such as a raw vegetable dip, a salad, or a warm velouté. It is recommended to consume 2-4 servings per day.

An important aspect to consider is that it is preferable to consume fresh , in-season vegetables (if these are not available, frozen vegetables can be used), avoiding overly prolonged cooking.

Fruit

Fruit makes up the smallest part of the plate: normally it is advisable to consume 2 to 3 servings daily. As with vegetables, it is best to choose local and seasonal fruits, which are richer in vitamins, antioxidants and minerals.

Cereals

I cereals provide plant carbohydrates and proteins: this category includes bread, pasta, potatoes, rusks, as well as whole grain carbohydrates that are rich in fiber, minerals, and vitamins such as rice, corn, barley, spelt, oats, buckwheat, millet… They also give a greater sense of satiety and promote better blood sugar control.

Quality protein

Quality proteins are of both animal and plant origin.

The first category includes the fish, which should be purchased according to seasonality and should be consumed 2- 3 times a week, eggs, to be consumed 1-2 times a week, the cheeses always 1-2 times a week and the meats to be consumed 2 times a week, preferring white ones or otherwise lean cuts.

Plant-based proteins include legumes, which are very valuable and adaptable in multiple recipes, and some of their derivatives such as tofu and tempeh and finally seitan.

This category also includes nuts and oil seeds, which not only provide protein but also supply our bodies with the famous good fats.

Seasonings

Among condiments,extra virgin olive oil certainly stands out, of which one should consume about 2-3 tablespoons per day.

If we wanted to use butter instead, the daily dose would be 10 g.

Beverages

Hydration plays a crucial role in a proper and balanced eating routine: it is advisable to consume 1.5 to 2 liters of water each day, but 1-2 glasses of water are preferable during meals. The consumption of herbal tea or green tea is also recommended, while it is best to avoid the consumption of sugary and carbonated drinks.

What are the proportions of the health plate?

You can make your own health dish by following these simple composition tips:

  • Fill the plate halfway with vegetables;
  • Add ¼ carbohydrate and a small portion of fruit
  • Dedicates the last quarter of the plate to protein source foods
  • Season with a generous tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and drink 1-2 glasses of water.

Of course, these directions can also be applied to a one-dish meal, such as a warm farro salad with pumpkin and primosale.

The healthy plate scheme is great inspiration for taking care of your eating routine: for more specific nutritional needs, you should consult a professional.

 

 

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