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Healthy Eating Basics

5 Foods to Avoid in the 3rd Month of Your Pregnancy.

Good news and congratulations for walking the great journey of pregnancy into the third month. However, escaping from the hands of being unable to eat due to nausea, vomiting and other discomforts of morning sickness, you may need to know how important a healthy eating habit is to you and your baby, especially at this stage of the pregnancy. Your practical class of healthy eating habits just began. The food a woman consumes during pregnancy is her baby’s main source of nourishment and diabetic pregnant women need to start with the diabetic portion plates, this may help put them in check in what they eat.  During the 3rd month of your pregnancy, a lot of development is happening to that little treasure inside of you. It is during this time the baby begins to experience any developmental changes and growth; it period marks the beginning of the baby:

  • Gaining more definite shape
  • Joints are beginning to form
  • Eyelids are getting formed
  • The four chambers of the heart are formed
  • Vital organs
  • Fingers no longer webbed
  • You may start to hear his heartbeat as the baby also is becoming more active.

Nevertheless, a lot have been said about the type of healthy foods that a to-be-mother should take during pregnancy; foods which may include: lean protein (fish, meat, eggs, beans, tofu, and cheese), whole grains (breads, whole wheat, oatmeal, and brown rice), fruits and vegetables, dairy foods, and many more. However, only little information is available on the type of foods that needed to be avoided during the period or perhaps a diet plates portion control for pregnant women in their third month; foods which are capable of mocking your healthy eating habits or program. And that’s exactly what will be revealed in this article.

Nevertheless, a lot have been said about the type of healthy foods that a to-be-mother should take during pregnancy; foods which may include: lean protein (fish, meat, eggs, beans, tofu, and cheese), whole grains (breads, whole wheat, oatmeal, and brown rice), fruits and vegetables, dairy foods, and many more. However, only little information is available on the type of foods that needed to be avoided during the period or perhaps a diet plates portion control for pregnant women in their third month; foods which are capable of mocking your healthy eating habits or program. And that’s exactly what will be revealed in this article.

Foods you should avoid in your 1st trimester Raw Sea foods
Many sea foods such as shark, king mackerel, swordfish and tilefish contain high level of methyl mercury; a toxic compound which has been found capable of crossing the placenta to cause brain function impairment in the developing baby. So stay off them.

Unpasteurized dairy foods
During this crucial stage of your pregnancy, it’s advisable you steer clear of unpasteurized dairy foods such as milk, blue-veined cheese and camembert. This will prevent you from possible food poisoning that may result from the bacteria; Listeria monocytogene found mostly in these unpasteurized foods. This bacterial infection could cause miscarriage, still birth, preterm labor, and illness in newborns.

Fruits
Yes. Not all fruits are good for your consumption during pregnancy. If you are concern about having a healthy eating habit during pregnancy, this implies that you need to avoid such fruits as they are obviously not meant for you. Some of these fruits may include:

  • Papaya or Paw-paw: except very ripe, taking semi-ripe paw-paw may cause uterine contractions and thus leads to premature labor due to the high proportion of latex in them.
  • Grapes: may lead to body heat, especially during the last trimester. So avoid them.
  • Pineapples: may also cause premature labor due to Bromolain found in them.

Therefore, it’s clear that it goes beyond only ‘what to eat’ when it comes to talking about healthy eating habits in pregnant women. It also extends to what ‘not to eat’ or an appropriate diet plate portion control plan. A diabetic pregnant woman may consider the diabetic portion plate. As a matter of fact, these foods that are meant to be avoided, when continuously taken due to lack of knowledge, can go as far as sabotaging the effort put into healthy eating habit during the first trimester of a pregnancy.

Healthy Eating Habits

“Let food be thy medicine and thy food medicine.”

This widely known quote is attributed to Hippocrates – the father of modern day medicine. While it sounds paradoxical, some critics have even dismissed it; it has important content to think about. The essence of it is that the foods you eat can have both immediate and long-term effects on your health.

For example; eating high sugar foods (high glycemic) raises your blood sugar fast. This in turn leads to a sudden spike of insulin. If this process is repeated over many times for long enough the body tissues will respond to insulin poorly and may increase the riskof developing type 2 diabetes. Other foods also increase risk of obesity and its associated disorders such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis among many other health issues.

Healthy eating habits defined
Healthy eating habits that promote good health include:

  • Right amounts of foods from all the classes of food groups
  • It is a lifestyle that is followed throughout and not just for a while
  • It involves different types of foods under the main classes of foods because no one type of food is exactly the same as another even in the same group
  • People with specific types of health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease or high cholesterol needs modified eating habits as guided by a qualified health dietary professional.

How to improve your eating habits
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention – CDC offers 3 easy to follow steps in the healthy eating habits journey. These are:

  1. Assess how you are currently eating. This includes what you consider to be good or bad eating habits.
  2. Remove any bad eating habits from your current eating plan.
  3. Continue with your good old or adapted new eating habits.

An important part of healthy fresh food eating habits is to consume the right quantities of the right foods at the right time. To help you with this, the resource here will help you to overcome the constant struggle many people go through in their efforts to start and maintain healthy eating habits.

Eating a Healthy Balanced Diet

food portion plate

Eating a Healthy Balanced Diet

Background to eating a healthy balanced diet

Modern life has become so fast paced that few, if any have any time to stop and think about the effect modern day life has on the body. Under these circumstances, eating a healthy balanced diet seems to have been relegated to the attic for storage to be dusted off and removed only when we become sick and the doctors warn us that unless we start eating a healthy balanced diet in earnest, our body is doomed.

Why a healthy balanced diet is important

There is no mystery to eating a healthy balanced diet; in fact, it is so easy that once we are on it, we wonder what made us ignore something so important and imminently achievable. Because there is no option on good health, a nutritionally balanced diet is something every person should have, irrespective of how busy their lives might be. Eating a healthy balanced diet which essentially means a wholesome nutrition balanced diet makes our body and mind fit and strong and gives us the power and energy to fulfill our career objectives. So ironic as it might sound, eating a healthy balanced diet will actually help you immensely in this fast paced world.

Reaction to health degraded by modern life styles

Modern hectic pace of life has led to poor health. As the health deteriorates, instead of eating a healthy balanced diet, people tend to either take “revitalize your life” pills, or pay handsomely to go on a detox holiday or opt for a equally exotic “guaranteed” diet plan. We tell you, the only guarantee such plans can give is to take your health south. Initially you might see a dramatic drop in your weight etc. but the long term effects of such exotic diet plans spells ruin because these plans are the opposite of a healthy balanced diet.

We take the mystery out of a eating a healthy balanced diet

The food we eat is grouped into four broad based groups commonly known as the healthy food chart (see our article on food chart). Our body requires certain foods from each of these food groups. All such required foods from each food group taken together in the recommended quantities constitute a healthy balanced diet.

The food groups are:

• Fruits

• Vegetables

• Cereals and Pulses

• Dairy

• Poultry, Fish and Meat products

When we consume the foods that are recommended from each of these food groups in the quantities they are recommended (see our article on food chart), then our body receives all the essential minerals, vitamins and dietary fiber. While the recommended quantities are based on a healthy active male adult, the actual serving sizes would vary depending upon factors such as activity level, age, height and gender.

Summary

Eating a healthy balanced diet makes our body and mind fit and strong and gives us the power and energy to fulfill our career objectives. So in essence, eating a healthy balanced diet will actually help you cope in this fast paced world.

The Healthy Eating Food Chart

easy plate method dinners

 

GRAINS

Half the quantity should be whole grains

VEGETABLES

Eat as much variety as possible

FRUITS

A third of your diet should be fruits

MILK

Recommend skimmed milk products for all adults

MEATS & BEANS

Use lean meats

Eat at least 3 oz of crackers, whole grain cereals, rice or pasta and breads per day.

This works out to 1 slice of bread, 1 cup breakfast cereal, ½ cup cooked rice or pasta.

Eat more dark green vegetables. The darker the color of your vegetables (green, yellow, purple etc) the better it is.

Include carrots, sweet potatoes and all types of beans and lentils.

Eat a variety of fresh fruit. Avoid canned stuff and juices.

Fruits need to oxidize in your stomach – not in the blender or a factory.

Go low fat or fat-free. If you can’t consume milk products choose lactose free products or other calcium sources such as fortified foods and beverages. Chose low fats and lean meats or poultry. Bake, broil or grill. Avoid fried.

Include fish, beans, peas, nuts and seeds.

A 2,000 calories a day diet should contain the following from each food group:
6 oz of grains 2 ½ cups vegetables 2 cups of fresh fruit 3 cups milk 5 ½ oz of meat and beans
GRAINS Whole wheat bread 1 slice 50 ~ 60 calories

Oatmeal 1 cup 145 calories

Buckwheat or whole wheat pancakes – 60~80 calories per serving

Cooked rice ½ cup 100 calories

Vegetables

FRUITS

Alfalfa sprouts 1 cup 20 calories

Artichoke 1 medium 60 calories

Artichoke hearts 1/2 cup cooked 42 calories

Arugula 1/2 cup 3 calories

Asparagus 1/2 cup cooked 23 calories

Avocado 1/2 cup pureed 185 calories

Bamboo shoots 1/2 cup raw 21 calories

Beet greens 1/2 cup cooked 20 calories

Beets 1/2 cup cooked 38 calories

Bell peppers 1/2 cup raw sliced 25 calories

Bok choy 1/2 cup cooked 10 calories

Broccoli 1/2 cup cooked 22 calories

Broccoli, raw 1 medium stalk 45 calories

Brussels sprouts 1/2 cup cooked 30 calories

Cabbage 1/2 cup cooked 17 calories

Carrot, raw 1.7 inch 31 calories

Carrots 1/2 cup cooked 35 calories

Cauliflower 1/2 cup cooked 20 calories

Cauliflower, raw 3 florets 14 calories

Celery, raw 1 stalk 6 calories

Celery 1/2 cup cooked 13 calories

Chard 1/2 cup cooked 18 calories

Chives 1 medium 9 calories

Collard greens 1/2 cup cooked 17 calories

Corn 1/2 cup cooked 89 calories

Cucumbers 1/2 cup sliced 7 calories

Eggplant 1/2 cup cooked 13 calories

Endive 1/2 cup chopped 13 calories

Garlic 1 clove 4 calories

Green beans 1/2 cup cooked 22 calories

Green onions 1/2 cup chopped 16 calories

Jicama 1/2 cup cooked 43 calories

Kale 1/2 cup cooked 18 calories

Kohlrabi 1/2 cup cooked 24 calories

Leeks 1/2 cup cooked 16 calories

Lemon grass 1 cup raw 66 calories

Lettuce, iceburg 1/2 cup 9 calories

Lettuce, romaine 1/2 cup 4 calories

Mushrooms 1/2 cup raw 9 calories

Mushrooms 1/2 cup cooked 21 calories

Mustard greens 1/2 cup cooked 11 calories

Okra 1/2 cup cooked 25 calories

Olive oil 1 tbs. 120 calories

Onion 1/2 cup cooked 46 calories

Onion, raw 1 medium 60 calories

Onion, raw 1/2 cup chopped 30 calories

Parsley 1/2 cup chopped 11 calories

Peas 1/2 cup cooked 34 calories

Potato, white 1/2 cup cooked 59 calories

Pumpkin 1/2 cup cooked 24 calories

Radishes 1/2 cup sliced 12 calories

Radicchio 1 medium leaf 2 calories

Rhubarb 1/2 cup raw 13 calories

Rutabaga 1/2 cup cooked 47 calories

Sauerkraut 1/2 cup cooked 25 calories

Spinach 1/2 cup cooked 21 calories

Spinach 1 cup raw 14 calories

Summer squash 1/2 cup cooked 36 calories

Sweet potato 1/2 cup cooked 125 calories

Tomato 1 medium 35 calories

Turnip greens 1/2 cup cooked 15 calories

Turnips 1/2 cup cooked 24 calories

Water chestnuts 1/2 cup raw 60 calories

Winter squash 1/2 cup cooked 80 calories

Zucchini 1/2 cup cooked 14 calories

Apples (1/2 ), Figs, Orange, Guava, Peach, Tangerine, Grapes / Rasberries (1 cup) each of these medium sized fruit contains approx. 40 calories

Bananas (1 medium) , Cherries (1 cup), Dates (5), Watermelon (10” slice), Kiwi fruit (2 medium), Pear (1 medium) each of these fruits contains approx 125 calories

MILK Low fat milk (1 cup), Butter 1 tbsp, Cheddar / Cottage Cheese 1oz each of these items contains approx 125 calories

Skimmed milk (1 cup), Egg (1 large) would each contain 85 calories

POULTRY Chicken or Turkey (light meat) 4oz would contain 200 calories

The 7 Habits of Healthy Eating

healthy kids portion plate

Healthy Eating Habits

There are eating habits and there are healthy eating habits – these are the latter. These healthy eating habits are not only beneficial to you they are a potential life saver! Discarding old eating habits and forming new healthy eating habits can be as easy or as tough as you want them to be. The question you need to ask yourself is who rules you – your mind or your tongue? If the answer is the former and you are committed to keeping your mind, body and soul healthy, pick one of the following healthy eating habits and incorporate it into your life before picking the next healthy eating habit.

1: Include several glasses of water as part of your daily routine

An excellent healthy eating habit is to drink several glasses of water a day. Thirst has nothing to do with it. Even if you are not feeling thirsty, you need to drink at least one glass of water every hour or so. Other things remaining the same, your body performs at its optimal best only when it is properly hydrated.

Tip: If you need to lose weight and you like cold water and are not prone to throat infections resulting from drinking cold water, then drink cold water because when you drink cold water, your body will burn energy to bring the cold water in line with your body temperature. Research indicates that that drinking cold water will speed up your metabolism by almost 33%.

2: Eat a healthy breakfast

People often assume that since they were sleeping during the night and there was no physical activity, they need not eat a breakfast as no energy was lost during the night. Wrong!

Your body has spent the last 10 hours or so repairing tissues and anything else that needs mending – more so in the case of children. When you wake up, your body needs fuel to get you started. You level of alertness is directly related to the quality of breakfast. So make sure you and your family especially children eat a healthy breakfast.

3: Enjoy a light lunch

Always make it a point to have a light lunch. If you skip lunch for whatever reason, your blood sugar levels will drop and your metabolism will slow down. Lack of fuel causes your body to go into a “slow down” mode to save energy and may also lead to a food binge later in the day. So always include a light lunch even if it’s just a packed sandwich, carrots and fruit. Unless in an emergency, avoid that burger or hot dog for lunch; true, it might provide you the energy you require but in the long run, the grease and chemicals in them will cause more harm than good.

4: Make it a fruit snack or a smoothie

If you feel hungry during the day, eat a banana or some other fruit. It will not only satisfy your hunger it will also go towards fulfilling your daily requirement of vital nutrients.

5: Include fruits and vegetables

It is vital to include at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. So plan your meals carefully; your physical well-being and life could well depend on it. Make sure you have at least one vegetable on the side with lunch or dinner. Take some fruits, chop them into bite sized chunks, pour a thin silver of honey on top and finally add nuts and raisins over it. Looks delicious, tastes delicious and is super healthy too.

6: Avoid Late Meals

Lunch at 4 p.m. or dinner at midnight plays havoc with your body. Do not allow your busy schedules to ruin your health. Ideal time for lunch and dinner is at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. respectively. Remember you body needs time to digest the food and it should be done when you are awake.

7: Portion Size

Don’t simply heap food onto your plate. The quantum you eat depends on your activity level. Ideally, use a 9” portion control plate and portion control scoop or spoon. Using a portion control plate ensures you do not over stuff yourself.

Just following these 7 golden habits will go a long way in ensuring a healthy body and mind.

The Principles of Healthy Eating

diet measuring plates

The Principles of Healthy Eating

Before we explain the principles of healthy eating, let us begin by asking you a few simple questions like why do we pay so little attention to our stomach? Is it because it never attacks us?

We care so little about our stomachs and digestive system because any amount of abuse to it doesn’t lead to our death. Heard of the term “stomach an insult”? We actually share a very abusive relationship with our stomach. We eat all kinds of junk foods in the world and then go on a ‘detox’ holiday. Why do we do this? Do we really hate ourselves so much?

How often have you smelt someone’s burp? We bet you could tell exactly what that person consumed; French fries, fish, burger and a beer. It’s all sitting there undigested for the world to smell. Some wise person rightly said, why fart and waste, when you can burp and taste? Is this your story too?

The 5 Golden principles of healthy eating

Eat freshly cooked food

The first principle of healthy eating is to eat food that is prepared fresh and consume it within 3 hours of cooking. Don’t freeze it!

Eat your fruits whole

The second principle of healthy eating is that you should eat your fruits whole instead of cutting them into small pieces or worse, blending in a mixer. The moment you cut a fruit the exposed portion begins to oxidize and lose nutrients. Cut fruits quickly decompose and in the process, change color (usually turning brown or black). Big fruits such as melon or papaya should be cut into slices. Never buy pre-packed pre-cut vegetables. These are ‘dead” vegetables having almost zero nutritional value. Buy the whole vegetable and cut it just before you want to eat or cook it.

Eat local produce and seasonal food. Believe it or not, it is a proven fact that climate, altitude, humidity, wind, soil quality etc. influence our digestive system. When you eat an exotic fruit or vegetable or meat that has been imported from afar, your stomach is unable to digest the unfamiliar nutrients that are within that food. Ever wondered why grapes grown in France taste different from those grown elsewhere? So our third principle of healthy eating is to eat local.

Variety is the spice of life

Our fourth principle of healthy eating is to include all types of food in small portions. Include meats, poultry and dairy products, fresh vegetables and fruits leaning more towards fresh vegetables and fresh fruits.

Shut the idiot box

Our fifth principle of healthy eating pertains to how we should eat our food; – in silence. When you have your meal; breakfast, lunch or dinner. Have it in silence. Observe and taste what you eat. Close your eyes when you chew. Eat slowly and savor every morsel of the food. Trust us, this works. When you begin to feel like your stomach is getting full, stop eating. STOP! Stop eating irrespective of whether or not there is food left in the plate. Our belief tells us that it is a crime to waste food – but what about your stomach? Is it okay to abuse it for the sake of your belief? If you follow this principle you will automatically control the quantum of food you consume.

Healthy Eating Guidelines

free healthy daily diets
Healthy Eating Guidelines for You and Your Family

These healthy eating guidelines aren’t some secrets handed down by the Aztecs or Egyptians or some exotic alien life form. Healthy eating guidelines are a straight forward common sense approach to food choices that we and our forefathers knew but seem to have mysteriously forgotten due the onslaught of junk food ads, restaurant ads and modern high-impact life style. After years of eating unhealthy foods and abusing our bodies beyond belief, we finally come to our senses and want a second chance at health by which time of course, we have forgotten what healthy eating was all about. No matter! Thanks to the internet, here you are and while you are here, we shall do our best to help you recollect what healthy eating and healthy fresh updates eating guideline is all about.

1: Drink Plenty of Water and Not Soda or Beer

Seen what a dehydrated plant looks like? Our body works best in a state of constant hydration so drink no less than one glass of water for every hour that you are awake which hopefully, would be at least 8 hours.

2: As you eat, concentrate on your food

Forget all about “quick bites” or “I’m in a hurry” kind of meal. All those ‘quickies’ were in the past. While you eat, keep the TV or radio off. If you are a person who needs to talk on the phone while eating, keep your cell phone off too.

While you eat, look at your plate, take a small quantity of food, put it in your mouth, close your eyes and concentrate on the food. Chew slowly savoring the taste, the flavors and letting the aroma seep through your senses.

After a few mouthfuls, you will reach a stage where you do not feel hungry any longer. STOP EATING! That’s right! Stop eating when you no longer feel hungry. Do this irrespective of whether or not there is food left on the plate. When you no longer feel hungry, it is your stomach signaling you to stop eating. If you learn to listen to your stomach, you will automatically learn to eat the exact quantum you need. No more, no less. If you have problem following this, use a portion control plate. These are readily available on various sites online or in your neighborhood crockery store.

3: Go lean!

Use low fat or skimmed milk. Include yogurt in your diet. When buying meat, ensure it does not have skin or fat. When it comes to protein, try to reduce the quantity of beef, pork etc. and instead, increase the quantity of fish in your diet.

4: Increase the quantum of fresh fruit and vegetables

When we say “increase” we don’t mean add to the existing quantity. We mean reduce meats and replace it with fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grain preparations.

5: Always eat on time

Never skip meals especially your breakfast. If you don’t have time in the afternoon for an adequate meal, the least you should do is to carry a packed lunch from home – even if it is just turkey sandwich and a banana. Take at least 20 minutes off your busy schedule to savor your meal. Your evening meal should be had no later than 7 p.m. so that your stomach has time to digest it well before you retire for the day.

Healthy Eating Diet Advice

healthy meal plans for weight loss

Healthy Eating Diet Advice

We all know how to eat. Diet means knowing what to eat. Thanks to the internet, everybody knows what not to eat (sweets, junk food etc.) but there seems to be a lot of confusion about what to eat. On this diet advice page we try to answer that question – specifically, what should be in our diet.

Carbohydrates (Carbs)

Our first healthy eating diet advice is to eat your carbs. Carbohydrates are vital because it provides us the energy for our day to day activity. It is our “battery” that powers us through the day. Additionally, carbohydrates play an important role in the synthesis of our DNA, our hormones, create powerful antioxidants and protect our cells and tissues from damage and ageing. Apart from all this, carbohydrates help in the functioning of our brain cells. Which is why if we are hungry, we can’t seem think straight. If we are low on carbs, our brain cells draw energy from limited reserve fuel supply (similar to your car switching to reserve gas when you fuel tank is empty). When that is depleted, our brain puts the body into sleep mode and kind of shuts down. So now you know just how important carbohydrates are. But are all Carbohydrates good? No of course not. But that’s an issue we shall tackle elsewhere.

Proteins

Our second healthy eating diet advice is to explain why we need proteins and its importance to your body. We’ve all been told that we need to include proteins in our diet but do you know why we need proteins? Proteins are needed to make antibodies which are our primary defense mechanism against diseases and infections. Proteins are required to contract and relax our muscles. So without proteins you would not be able to pick up that cup of coffee that will provide the carbohydrates to power your brain and body. Hormonal Proteins are the body messengers. They pick up signals and instructions and carry them across to the required destinations. Hormonal proteins are the “runners” within your body. Proteins make up the cells within us and create the connective tissues, tendons and ligaments. Finally, along with carrying messages, proteins perform another vital function – they transport nutrients through out the body.

Fats

When we say people should eat fats we get looks that seem to suggest we might have lost our marbles. Our third healthy eating diet advice is to explain why fats are vital to our body. Fat is the long term slow release reserve energy source in our body. It gets utilized at times of distress and illness. In times gone by when surviving was tough and sickness was common, the body utilized the fat reserves to release energy required to survive. Fat is the only nutrient that can help us survive through the toughest phases of our life. Further, only fat can metabolize vitamin A,E,K and D which are also known as fat soluble vitamins. Believe it or not, fat actually protects vital organs such as the heart, kidneys, liver, lungs etc. Fat also insulates your body and prevents heat loss (Which is why overweight people feel hot quickly). Fat stimulates the flow of bile from the gall bladder. Fat also plays a vital role in pregnancy as it is required for milk production and growth of the foetus. Also, we bet you did not know that 60% of your brain is made up of fat. Finally, fat is the grease that lubricates the joints.

Water

Our fourth healthy eating diet advice is on water and its importance to your body. For survival, water is the most important element that our body needs. Without water, you cannot utilize the nutrients that come from carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Modern lifestyle, lack of exercise and stress has dulled out thirst mechanism. Instead of drinking water, we drink beer, sodas and juices all which only aggravate the problem and leads to dehydration. Dehydration leads to dullness because the body is unable to process the food you eat. In turn we rush to consume “energy pills” that promise to perk up your life and so on and so forth.

Summary

In this article on healthy eating diet advice, we have explained that carbohydrates, proteins, fats and water must form part of your diet. We have also explained why. In other articles on this site we have explained the various foods that contain carbohydrates, proteins and fats and also explained the quantities that you should be consuming.

Fabulous Fiber

Do you know: 

What is fiber?  According to USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture),”Fiber is the structural part of plant foods which can not be digested by humans”. We need approximately 20-30 gm fiber every day.  And we can get them from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains.

Below are common food sources that are rich in fiber in accordance to USDA:

 

Success Tips:

Every fruit, vegetable, nut, seed and whole grain has fiber. It is just a matter of incorporating them in your daily diet and to ensure that consumption reach recommended allowances based on age and physical activity.