What is Complete Nutrition?

B. Miller

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.

Tofu is a great source of protein for vegetarians.
Tofu is a great source of protein for vegetarians.

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.

Cheese offers both protein and calcium.
Cheese offers both protein and calcium.

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.

People who eat meat should reduce the red meat in their diets and focus on lean sources of protein.
People who eat meat should reduce the red meat in their diets and focus on lean sources of protein.

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.

It's important for the body to get all the vitamins and minerals it needs.
It's important for the body to get all the vitamins and minerals it needs.

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.

Athletes typically need more protein and carbohydrates than non-athletes.
Athletes typically need more protein and carbohydrates than non-athletes.

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.

Fruits and vegetables offer a lot of the vitamins that a body needs to stay healthy.
Fruits and vegetables offer a lot of the vitamins that a body needs to stay healthy.

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Discussion Comments

Arun1

Quite a useful post on complete nutrition. In this busy world, it is, of course, challenging for people to include a complete and balanced diet. It is alarming that most of the people suffer from specific deficiencies. It is high time that we take some simple efforts to make our food healthy and nutritious.

cloudel

I used to feed my dog table scraps, but she became lazy and obese. My vet said that I should be feeding her dogfood, because it could give her the complete nutrition that she needed.

Even though she loved eating my leftovers, she wasn't getting all the things that her body needed to function properly. Dog needs are different from those of humans, and dogfood is manufactured to meet those needs.

After a year on nothing but dogfood, she had lost the extra weight and had much more energy. I have totally stopped giving her table scraps, and if she begs for them, I give her a doggie treat instead.

shell4life

@Perdido – I know what you mean. The vending machine at work was the biggest hurdle to my health and nutrition, so I started bringing snacks from home.

I think the biggest move in a positive direction that I made was switching from white breads and sugary cereals to whole grains. At first, I hated it, because I had gotten used to the flavor of white bread. However, because I felt lighter and better after eating a whole grain English muffin or a bowl of whole grain cereal, I learned to love it.

I started bringing some dry whole grain cereal and granola in a bag to work. I also ate my sandwiches on whole wheat bread only.

Perdido

There are so many complete nutrition products out there, but I don't think that relying on supplements and vitamins for health all the time is a good idea. There are benefits of natural foods that even scientists haven't discovered yet, but they know that they are good for you.

Fruits and vegetables are the best things you can overindulge in, I believe. Too much meat will make you sick, and so will too many fatty snacks, but you could snack on carrots and bananas until you get full and not have an upset stomach.

I like to snack a lot, so I keep only natural foods around for this. I don't even buy potato chips and candy, because the temptation would be too great.

JackWhack
Sometimes, you have to use complete liquid nutrition as a substitute for a balanced diet for awhile. When my sister and I had a stomach virus, we couldn't keep anything solid down, so we relied on vitamin-enriched shakes for our nutrition.

The shakes had everything that we needed. The flavor wasn't the best, but what can you expect when you have everything rolled into one?

My sister also had to give this to her child when she had severe diarrhea. It kept her from dehydrating, but it also kept her full of nutrition.

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