Developing A Personal Nutrition Program
Nutritional needs vary depending on factors such as age, stress level, health and lifestyle. Even healthy individuals may want to develop a personal nutrition program which combines balanced eating with vitamins, minerals or multi-nutrient supplements. Of course nobody should embark on a nutritional supplement regimen or program without first consulting a physician. Nutrition programs can be simple or elaborate depending upon individual nutritional needs.
Everyone needs to eat a variety of foods from each nutrient group. Some find it helpful when beginning a nutritional program to keep track of their nutritional intake in a food diary. Nutrient proportions should be balanced according to the nutrition pyramid. The number servings from each nutrient group which should be eaten daily will vary depending on a person's weight, sex and activity level. Generally speaking a daily nutritious diet should include 6-11 servings from the grain nutrient group, 5-9 servings from the fruits/vegetables nutrient group, 2-3 servings from the dairy nutrient group and 2 servings from the protein nutrient group. After writing down everything eaten, an individual should review their nutritional diary weekly to identify any lags.
Nutrient supplements can be added to a nutritional program to make up for any ongoing lags. If an individual is not eating a sufficient amount of grains they may need a nutrient supplement of zinc, B-vitamins, fiber, etc. Vitamin C, potassium and vitamin K nutrient supplements may be called for if an individual's diet is lacking in fruits/vegetables. While calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus supplements may needed by those with low dairy diets. Iron and vitamin D supplements may be necessary for those who don't consume enough protein. A diet that is occasionally lacking in more then one nutrient group can be supplemented with a multi-nutrient.
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