Complete nutrition refers to eating a complete and balanced diet that gives the body all of the nutrients it needs. Searching online for recommended daily allowances will display specific caloric amounts of nutrients, which can be helpful when planning a diet. In general, one of the best ways to get complete nutrition is to eat a diet that contains foods from a wide variety of food groups.
Protein is one of the main components of complete nutrition. For those who eat meat, protein can be found in animal products such as beef, turkey, pork, and chicken. It is also found in fish, dairy products, and eggs. It is best to choose lean sources of protein, and to avoid eating too much red meat. For those who do not eat meat or animal products, other excellent sources of protein include legumes, whole grains, tofu, seitan, and tempeh.
Whole grains are an important part of complete nutrition. Experts generally recommend selecting whole grain breads and oatmeal rather than eating foods made with white flour, such as white bread. Whole grains are an important source of fiber, as well as of nutrients such as zinc.
The third most important part of a diet is fruits and vegetables. It is often recommended that vegetables be the largest portion of any meal, rather than the more traditional meat portion. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day, approximately five to seven servings, in order to get important vitamins such as vitamin A and vitamin C, as well as antioxidants. Leafy green vegetables are great sources of iron.
Fatty, sugary, processed foods should be avoided as much as possible, or only eaten rarely and in moderation. Instead, replace these with healthier snacks such as whole-grain crackers, carrot sticks, fruit, yogurt, or cheese; soda and sugary drinks should be replaced with water. Many people choose to supplement their diet with a daily multivitamin, or even some individual vitamin supplements designed to target specific deficiencies, such as calcium and vitamin D supplements.
These are simply some general guidelines for complete nutrition. These guidelines vary significantly based on age, overall health, medical conditions, and levels of physical activity. For instance, athletes may need to eat more carbohydrates and protein than other people, while children and the elderly might need to consume smaller meals of nutrient-dense foods to promote healthy weight gain. Diabetics may need sugar-free diets, and people with high blood pressure may need to follow a low-salt diet. Any questions can be directed to a doctor or registered dietician.