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Read the text and answer the questions. 1. What is the key to good nutrition?

1. What is the key to good nutrition?

2. What are the systems that group foods?

3. What does the dietary fibre consist of?

4. Why do health experts recommend a diet that is low in fats?

5. Why should you limit your intake of sodium and sugar?

6. What can lead to many problems?


Eat a balanced diet. The key to good nutrition is a varied diet that includes every kind of nutrient. To simplify the planning of a varied diet, nutritionists have devised systems that group foods according to nutrient content. One such system divides foods into five groups: (1) vegetables, (2) fruit, (3) bread, cereals, rice and pasta, (4) milk, yoghurt and cheese, (5) meat, poultry, fish, dried beans and peas, eggs and nuts.

Additional guidelines, called Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs), are provided in the United States by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences. In other countries, similar groups provide national nutrition guidelines. The RDAs give health experts estimates of the amounts of essential nutrients needed daily to maintain good nutrition in healthy people. This article includes a table of RDAs.

The RDA for a particular nutrient may vary depending on personТs sex and age.

The RDA for iron, for example, is 12 milligrams for males age 11 to 18 and 15 milligrams for females age 11 to 50. The RDA for calcium ranges from 400 milligrams for infants under the age of 6 months to 1.200 milligrams for males and females age 11 to 24 and for pregnant women.

People also vary in their needs for energy. A person who plays sports daily, for example, needs more calories than someone who does little physical work. Children need more calories than their size would indicate because they are growing. Pregnant women also need extra calories to provide enough nutrients for a healthy baby.

Include fibre. Dietary fibre consists of cellulose and other complex carbohydrates that cannot be absorbed by the body. It passes out of the body as waste. Fibre moves food along through the stomach and intestines, thus helping to prevent constipation. Many experts believe

that it also helps reduce the risk of such rectal and intestinal disorders as haemorrhoids, diverticulitis, cancers of the colon and rectum. Good sources of fibre include wholegrain breads and cereals, beans and peas, vegetables, and fruit.

Limit your intake of saturated fats and cholesterol. Health experts recommend a diet that is low in saturated fats and cholesterol, a waxy substance found in many animal foods. A high level of blood choles≠terol increases the risk of heart disease. Animal products are the source of most saturated fats and all dietary cholesterol. To reduce the intake of saturated fats and cholesterol, health experts suggest choosing lean meats, fish, low-fat dairy products. They also advise using fats and oils sparingly.

Limit your intake of sodium and sugar. A diet that includes a great deal of sodium may increase the risk of high blood pressure. Sodium is found in many foods, including canned vegetables, pick≠les, processed cheeses, table salt, and such snack foods as pretzels, potato chips, and nuts. One way to reduce sodium intake is to use herbs and other seasoning instead of salt in cooking and at the table. Another way is to select fresh foods rather than canned or frozen foods.

Foods that contain a lot of sugar are often high in calories and fat but low in minerals, proteins, and vitamins. Nutritionists sometimes call them "empty calorie" foods, because they may make a person feel full but provide few nutrients. In addition, sugar that remains in and around the teeth contributes to tooth decay. Foods that have a large amount of sugar include candies, pastries, many breakfast cereals, and sweetened canned fruits. In place of sugary foods, nutritionists advise people to snack on such foods as fresh fruits and vegetables. They also recommended that people drink unsweetened fruit and vegetable juice instead of soft drinks.

Beware of alcohol. Alcoholic beverages supply calories, but they provide almost no nutrients. In addition, alcohol is a powerful drug, and habitual drinking can lead to many health problems. Health ex≠perts recommend that if people choose to drink alcoholic beverages, they consume only small amounts. They suggest that certain people avoid alcohol altogether: children and adolescents, pregnant women, people who are about to drive, anyone who is taking medicine, and those who are unable to limit their drinking.

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