How many different foods do you eat?
Posted by kathryn in Uncategorized
This week on Limes & Lycopene I want to talk about one of the fundamental principles of good nutrition: eating a variety of foods.
So this week I’m going to be talking about why it’s important and what variety actually means. I’ll end the week with the most important part – how to increase the variety in your diet. Some simple and practical suggestions.
But first a question: how many different foods do you eat in a day?
While most people would say they were eating different foods all day, often when you scratch the surface it’s the same fundamental ingredients over and over again.
Say you breakfast on Weet-bix. milk and a banana. Have a ham, cheese and tomato sandwich for lunch, and a couple of biscuits mid-afternoon. Then finish the day with pasta, sauce, parmesan and a side salad.
While you may think you’re eating different foods, the same basic ingredients pop up in each meal:
- Wheat is in the breakfast cereal, the bread at lunch-time, the biscuits and it’s the main ingredient in pasta.
- There’s milk for breakfast, but also a couple of doses of cheese – which are based on milk.
- Tomato is found in the lunch-time sandwich, but it’s also the most likely base for the evening pasta sauce.
- On top of these three there’s a banana, sugar in the biscuits, ham, a few vegies in the salad and pasta sauce, as well as some salt.
If this is your daily diet, then you may only eating about ten different foods a day.
Keeping track of how many foods you eat
Over the next few days I’m going to keep a track of the number of different foods I eat. And I’ll report back. Update: I’m posting my daily food lists "here":/blog/2008/05/15/the-variety-of-foods-i-eat.
But I’d also really like to know how many different foods you’re eating. It’s not a competition – I’m just endlessly curious about what people eat.
I’m looking for basic ingredients. Don’t worry too much about food additives, it’s the fundamental components of your diet that I want you to track.