Eating healthy is not only good for your body, but also for your mind and soul. A balanced diet can help you prevent diseases, boost your energy, improve your mood, and enhance your creativity. But how do you know what to eat and how much? How do you make your meals tasty and satisfying? How do you avoid getting bored with the same old foods?
The answer is simple: build a healthy food plate! A healthy food plate is a visual guide that shows you how to create balanced meals with different types of foods. It can help you plan your meals, control your portions, and enjoy a variety of flavors and textures. In this article, we will show you how to build a healthy food plate using some common literary devices that will make your reading more fun and engaging.
Let’s get started!
What is a Healthy Food Plate?
A healthy food plate is a way of arranging your food on a plate that follows some general principles of nutrition. It is based on the idea that different types of foods provide different nutrients and benefits for your health. By eating a variety of foods from different groups, you can ensure that you get all the essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, protein, carbohydrates, and fats that your body needs.
There are many versions of the healthy food plate, but one of the most popular and widely used ones is the Healthy Eating Plate created by Harvard Health Publishing and nutrition experts at the Harvard School of Public Health. It offers more specific and more accurate recommendations for following a healthy diet than MyPlate, developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Service.
The Healthy Eating Plate consists of four sections: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy protein. It also includes a small amount of healthy oils and a glass of water or other healthy beverages. It does not include dairy products or sweets, as they are not essential for a healthy diet and can be consumed in moderation if desired.
Here is what the Healthy Eating Plate looks like:
Source: Harvard Health Publishing
As you can see, the Healthy Eating Plate is colorful, diverse, and appealing. It represents the ideal balance of foods that you should aim for in every meal. Of course, you don’t have to follow it exactly or measure everything precisely. You can use it as a general guide and adjust it according to your preferences, needs, and availability of foods.
Let’s take a closer look at each section of the Healthy Eating Plate and see what they offer for your health and taste buds.
Vegetables: The Green Giants
Vegetables are the largest section of the Healthy Eating Plate, occupying half of the space. This is because vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and water that can help prevent chronic diseases, lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and hydrate your body. Vegetables also have low calories and high volume, which means they can fill you up without adding too much energy to your diet.
Some examples of vegetables are:
- Leafy greens: spinach, kale, lettuce, arugula, etc.
- Cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, etc.
- Root vegetables: carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, etc.
- Squash: pumpkin, zucchini, butternut squash, etc.
- Legumes: beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
- Mushrooms: white button mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, portobello mushrooms, etc.
- Other vegetables: tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, bell peppers, onions, garlic, etc.
You should aim to eat at least five servings of vegetables per day. A serving is about one cup of raw or cooked vegetables or two cups of leafy greens. You should also try to eat a variety of colors and types of vegetables to get the most benefits from their different nutrients.
To make your vegetable dishes more delicious and interesting,
you can use some literary devices such as:
- Symbolism: Use vegetables as symbols to convey deeper meanings or messages in your dishes. For example,
- Use red vegetables like tomatoes or beets to symbolize love, passion, or courage.
- Use green vegetables like spinach or kale to symbolize health, growth, or freshness.
- Use orange vegetables like carrots or pumpkin to symbolize warmth, happiness, or creativity.
- Irony: Use vegetables in unexpected or contradictory ways to create humor or surprise in your dishes. For example,
- Use cauliflower to make pizza crust or rice instead of wheat or grains.
- Use zucchini to make noodles or lasagna instead of pasta.
- Use mushrooms to make burgers or meatballs instead of meat.
- Foreshadowing: Use vegetables to hint at what is coming next in your dishes or meals. For example,
- Use garlic or onion to add flavor and aroma to your dishes and prepare your taste buds for more savory foods.
- Use lemon or lime to add acidity and freshness to your dishes and balance out the sweetness or richness of other foods.
- Use mint or parsley to add color and freshness to your dishes and cleanse your palate for dessert.
Fruits: The Sweet Treats
Fruits are the second largest section of the Healthy Eating Plate, occupying one quarter of the space. This is because fruits are also rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and water that can help prevent chronic diseases, lower cholesterol, boost immunity, improve skin health, and hydrate your body. Fruits also have natural sugars that can satisfy your sweet tooth and provide energy for your brain and muscles.
Some examples of fruits are:
- Berries: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc.
- Citrus fruits: oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, etc.
- Stone fruits: peaches, plums, apricots, cherries, etc.
- Tropical fruits: bananas, pineapples, mangoes, papayas, etc.
- Melons: watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, etc.
- Apples: red, green, yellow, etc.
- Pears: Bartlett, Anjou, Bosc, etc.
- Grapes: red, green, black, etc.
You should aim to eat at least two servings of fruits per day. A serving is about one medium-sized fruit or half a cup of chopped or canned fruit. You should also try to eat a variety of colors and types of fruits to get the most benefits from their different nutrients.
To make your fruit dishes more delicious and interesting,
you can use some literary devices such as:
- Metaphor: Use fruits as metaphors to compare them to other things or ideas in your dishes. For example,
- Use berries as jewels or gems to make your dishes look more attractive and valuable.
- Use citrus fruits as stars or suns to make your dishes look more bright and cheerful.
- Use apples as hearts or love symbols to make your dishes look more romantic and sweet.
- Personification: Give fruits human characteristics or emotions to make them more relatable and appealing in your dishes. For example,
- Give bananas a smile or a wink to make them look more friendly and fun.
- Give pineapples a crown or a hat to make them look more royal and exotic.
- Give grapes a bunch or a family to make them look more cozy and social.
- Hyperbole: Use exaggeration or overstatement to emphasize the qualities or effects of fruits in your dishes. For example,
- Say that strawberries are the most delicious fruit in the world to show how much you love them.
- Say that lemons are so sour that they can make you pucker up to show how strong they are.
- Say that watermelon is so juicy that it can quench your thirst to show how refreshing it is.
Whole Grains: The Brown Buddies
Whole grains are the third section of the Healthy Eating Plate, occupying one quarter of the space. This is because whole grains are rich in complex carbohydrates, fiber, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and other minerals that can help regulate blood sugar, lower cholesterol, prevent constipation, and support your metabolism. Whole grains also have a low glycemic index, which means they release energy slowly and steadily, keeping you full and satisfied for longer.
Some examples of whole grains are:
- Oats: rolled oats, steel-cut oats, oat bran, etc.
- Wheat: whole wheat bread, pasta, crackers, etc.
- Rice: brown rice, wild rice, black rice, etc.
- Quinoa: white quinoa, red quinoa, black quinoa, etc.
- Barley: pearled barley, hulled barley, barley flakes, etc.
- Buckwheat: buckwheat groats, kasha, soba noodles, etc.
- Millet: millet flour, millet seeds, millet porridge, etc.
- Rye: rye bread, rye flakes, rye berries, etc.
You should aim to eat at least three servings of whole grains per day. A serving is about one slice of bread, one cup of cooked cereal or pasta, or half a cup of cooked rice or other grains. You should also try to choose whole grains over refined grains as much as possible. Refined grains are processed to remove the bran and germ, which contain most of the nutrients and fiber. Examples of refined grains are white bread, white rice, white flour, and white pasta.
To make your whole grain dishes more delicious and interesting,
you can use some literary devices such as:
- Alliteration: Use words that start with the same sound or letter to create a rhythmic and catchy effect in your dishes. For example,
- Use oats to make oatmeal or overnight oats for a wholesome and hearty breakfast.
- Use wheat to make whole wheat waffles or whole wheat wraps for a crispy and chewy snack.
- Use rice to make rice pudding or rice cakes for a creamy and crunchy dessert.
- Imagery: Use words that appeal to the senses to create a vivid and descriptive picture in your dishes. For example,
- Use quinoa to make a colorful and nutty salad with fresh vegetables and herbs.
- Use barley to make a warm and cozy soup with mushrooms and carrots.
- Use buckwheat to make a dark and rich brownie with chocolate chips and walnuts.
- Onomatopoeia: Use words that imitate the sounds of things or actions to create a lively and expressive effect in your dishes. For example,
- Use millet to make a poppy and crunchy granola with dried fruits and nuts.
- Use rye to make a crackly and tangy bread with caraway seeds and sourdough starter.
- Use corn to make a sizzly and spicy popcorn with chili powder and lime juice.
Healthy Protein: The White Wonders
Healthy protein is the fourth and last section of the Healthy Eating Plate, occupying one quarter of the space. This is because protein is essential for building and repairing your muscles, bones, skin, hair, and other tissues. Protein also helps regulate your hormones, enzymes, antibodies, and other chemicals that keep your body functioning properly. Protein also provides satiety, which means it can keep you full and prevent overeating.
Some examples of healthy protein are:
- Lean meat: chicken, turkey, pork, beef, etc.
- Seafood: fish, shrimp, crab, lobster, etc.
- Eggs: whole eggs, egg whites, etc.
- Dairy: milk, yogurt, cheese, etc.
- Nuts: almonds, walnuts, pistachios, etc.
- Seeds: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
- Soy: tofu, tempeh, edamame, etc.
You should aim to eat about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight per day. For example, if you weigh 60 kilograms, you should eat about 48 grams of protein per day. A serving of protein is about 85 grams of cooked meat or seafood, one egg, one cup of milk or yogurt, or a handful of nuts or seeds. You should also try to choose lean and low-fat sources of protein as much as possible. Avoid processed meats like bacon, sausage, ham, or salami, as they are high in sodium and saturated fat.
To make your protein dishes more delicious and interesting,
you can use some literary devices such as:
- Simile: Use words like “as” or “like” to compare protein to other things or ideas in your dishes. For example,
- Use chicken as a versatile and adaptable ingredient that can be cooked in many ways and paired with many flavors.
- Use fish as a light and delicate food that can be enjoyed with simple seasonings and sauces.
- Use eggs as a basic and essential food that can be transformed into many dishes and meals.
- Paradox: Use words or phrases that seem contradictory or absurd but have some truth or meaning in your dishes. For example,
- Use pork as a lean and tender meat that can also be fatty and crispy depending on how you cook it.
- Use crab as a hard and spiky shellfish that can also be soft and sweet inside.
- Use cheese as a solid and firm dairy product that can also be melted and gooey when heated.
- Allusion: Use words or phrases that refer to something else that is well-known or famous in your dishes. For example,
- Use turkey as a traditional and festive food that is often served on Thanksgiving or Christmas.
- Use shrimp as a popular and expensive food that is often associated with luxury or wealth.
- Use yogurt as a healthy and probiotic food that is often linked to Greek culture or cuisine.
Conclusion: The Perfect Plate
Now you know how to build a nutritious and delicious healthy food plate using some common literary devices. By following the Healthy Eating Plate guidelines and adding some creativity and fun to your dishes, you can enjoy a balanced diet that can benefit your health and happiness. Remember to eat a variety of foods from different groups, control your portions, and drink plenty of water or other healthy beverages. You can also treat yourself to some sweets or desserts occasionally, but in moderation.