You probably already know that our nutrition should be a combination of different nutrients. Fruits and vegetables, grains, protein, and more make up a complete diet that can build a healthy body and even a healthy mind, keeping us away from many problems and improving our quality of life. Now, we’re all just regular people! Who has the patience to constantly examine their plate of food 24/7 to figure out what vegetables are there, where the protein is, and what’s in the right or wrong amount!

Counting the numbers and percentages of protein, fat, and so on can be easy for a few days, but it can get tiresome and lead us to abandon a healthy habit quickly. Now, to make our lives easier, there’s a well-known method in nutrition called the Plate Method! Fruits and vegetables, starches and grains, and protein are the three main groups on our plate. The Plate Method is a visual way to arrange different types of foods in our daily meal plan. This way, we can ensure that we have received sufficient amounts of macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fat) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). It’s possible for our meal to be a sandwich or a roll, and still, this method can be applied!

n this method, there’s no need to focus on and be precise about the food. Just placing an adequate amount of each food group that’s available to us or our favorites on our plate is enough. In the Plate Method, we have the freedom to choose the type of food, and that’s why there are no strict lists of do’s and don’ts. The portion sizes are designed based on the needs of most people, and they may vary depending on factors like age, gender, weight, hunger, physical activity, and health status.

For example, if our lunch has a low protein content, there’s no need to compensate for it immediately. Just make sure to consume the required amount of protein in the next meals. Even if the nutrient balance is achieved throughout the week, we can still say that our diet is on the right track.

So, how does the Plate Method work?

Half of the plate is allocated to vegetables and fruits. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, and their consumption is essential. So, that’s half of the plate!

Now, one-fourth of the plate is filled with grains and starches. Grains are an essential source of our energy, and their gradual digestion allows us to receive energy steadily throughout the day. So, three-fourths of the plate is filled up to this point!

The remaining one-fourth is filled with protein. It’s worth noting that plant-based proteins like legumes provide more than just empty protein to our bodies. Many of them contain vitamin B12 and are rich sources of minerals such as calcium, iron, and fiber.

Our plate is now full, but it’s essential to remember other nutrients as well. Our bodies require beneficial fats for the absorption of minerals and vitamins. These fats can be consumed as part of the meal or alongside the main meal. Sources of healthy fats, like avocados, nuts and seeds, nut butter, olives, meat, coconut, and coconut milk, can provide this part of our nutritional needs. Whether we are plant-based or not, most of us tend to overlook sources of calcium. Dairy and plant-based dairy products not only provide protein but also the required calcium for our bodies. Calcium is vital for the growth and maintenance of our bones.

Practice the Plate Method for just a few days. It’s so easy and beneficial that it quickly becomes a habit, creating a comprehensive and complete diet for us without much hassle or time-consuming calculations.

Zahra Barani

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *