What is Moderation?
Not too much or too little.. that’s what moderation means. Moderation does not mean that you have to eliminate hawker food from your diet, but rather that you can include them occasionally. Moderation also means not taking anything to extremes. You probably have heard that vitamin C has positive effects, but that doesn’t mean huge doses of this essential nutrient are appropriate for you.
It’s also important to remember that substances that are good in small amounts can sometimes be dangerous in large quantities. For example, the body needs zinc for hundreds of chemical reactions, including those that support normal growth, development, and immune function. Too much zinc, however, can cause deficiency of another essential mineral, copper, which can lead to impaired immune function.
Being moderate in your diet means that you do not restrict or completely eliminate any one type of food, but rather that all types of food can fit into a healthful diet.
Variety.. the spice of life!
How many different foods do you eat on a daily basis? Ten? Fifteen? Would it surprise you that one of Japan’s dietary guidelines suggests eating 30 different foods each day? Now that’s variety!
Variety means including lots of different foods in the diet: not just different food groups such as fruits, vegetables, and grains but also different foods from each group. Eating two bananas and three carrots each and every day may give you the minimum number of recommended daily servings for fruits and vegetables, but it doesn’t add much variety.
Variety is important for a number of reasons. Eating a variety of fruits, for example, will provide a broader mix of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals than just including one or two fruits. Choosing a variety of protein sources will give you a different balance of fats and other nutrients. Variety can add interest and excitement to your meals while preventing boredom with your diet. Perhaps most important, variety in your diet helps ensure that you get all the nutrients you need. Studies have shown that people who have varied diets are more likely to meet their overall nutrient needs.
A healthful diet is something you create over time, not the way you eat on any given day. Using the principles of adequacy, balance, calorie (energy) control, nutrient density, moderation, and variety will help you attain and achieve healthy eating habits, which in turn will contribute to your overall healthy lifestyle.