Eat a balanced diet: a healthy and junk food chart to get you informed

Do you need a healthy and junk food chart? Eating a balanced diet improved your physical and mental health. There are five primary groups of food: Grains, fruits, vegetables, fish, and beans (meat, fish, poultry, dry beans, eggs, nuts, and meat alternatives), and milk, including yogurt and cheese.

Each food group offers specific nutritional benefits. It is essential to consume foods from each group every day to maintain a balanced diet. A healthy and balanced diet contains different food items, offering macronutrients, including energy-providing nutrients, such as fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, and micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals.

You can eat both healthy and junk food if you use an air fryer to prepare them. An air fryer uses hot air circulation technology to cook the food, reducing calories and fat content. So, it means you can eat burgers, fries, and other junk food without worrying about your health.

Whole Grains

Grains contain fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Health professionals recommend whole grains because they are the healthiest. Choose food items that list a whole grain as their primary ingredient with high-level fiber content. Whole-grain food items include oatmeal, whole wheat bread, whole-grain crackers, whole wheat pasta, breakfast cereals, brown rice, barley, and plain popcorn.

Fruits and Veggies

Fruits and veggies offer carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. You must include fruits and vegetables in your healthy and junk food chart. Experts recommend eating five or more servings of fruits and veggies every day.

In addition, veggies are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and iron. These foods are low in saturated and Trans-fats but high in fiber. Health professionals advise people to consume dark leafy green vegetables.

Likewise, fruits are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. Fruits are high in fiber and low in saturated fats. Whole and sliced fruits have higher levels of fiber than juice, making them a better choice for improved health.

Meat, Fish, and Beans

These provide proteins, B vitamins, and essential minerals. Choose dry beans and peas, poultry, fish, nuts, and high protein vegetarian alternatives more than meat. When you eat meat, make sure you choose lean cuts. Remove the skin from poultry to reduce saturated fat content.

Meat, fish, and beans also provide iron and zinc that play a crucial role in different body functions. These minerals build and repair muscles, tissues, and cells. Proteins, B vitamins, iron, and zinc also streamline the digestive process, boost immunity, and increase blood supply to different organs.


Milk is a rich source of calcium, but it also offers proteins, riboflavin, vitamin A, and vitamin D. It promotes strong bones, muscles, and healthy teeth. Health professionals and dieticians recommend choosing plain low-fat or nonfat milk, yogurt, cheese, and other dairy products. Rice milk and calcium-fortified soy milk are alternatives for those who don’t drink milk.

Energy Requirements

An adult woman needs 1,800 to 2,000 calories per day, and an adult man needs 2,200 to 24,000 calories per day. You may need more if you have an active lifestyle. On the other hand, children, such as girls between the age of 9 and 13, need 1,600 calories per day. Boys in the same age group need 1,800 calories per day. If your child is moderately active, he may need 300 to 400 more calories each day.

Air Fry Cooking Chart

IngredientAmountPreparationOilTemperature (Fahrenheit)Cooking Time
Beets4 small or six large – about 2lbsWholeNone390 degrees45-60 minutes
BroccoliOne headCut in one-inch floretsOne tablespoon390 degrees10-12 minutes
Butternut squash1/2lbsCut in one-inch piecesOne tablespoon390 degrees20-25 minutes
Cauliflowerone headCut in one-inch floretsTwo tablespoon390 degrees15-20 minutes
Green beansOne bag or 12oz.TrimmedOne tablespoon390 degrees8-10 minutes
Mushrooms8oz.Rinsed, cut in quartersOne tablespoon390 degrees7-9 minutes
Potatoes, russet1lbsHand-cut fries, thick½-2 tablespoons, canola390 degrees23-26 minutes
Chicken breastsTwo breastsBone-in or bonelessBrushed with oil375 degrees25-35 minutes
Chicken thighsFour thighsBone-in or bonelessBrushed with oil390 degrees22-28 minutes
Chicken wings2lbsDrumettes and flatsOne tablespoon390 degrees22-26 minutes
Fish and Seafood
Lobster tailsFour tailsNoneBrushed with oil375 degrees12–15 minutes
Crab cakesTwo cakesNoneBrushed with oil350 degrees12–15 minutes
Shrimp16 largeWhole, peeled, tails onOne tablespoon390 degrees7–10 minutes
Salmon filletsTwo filletsNoneBrushed with oil390 degrees10–13 minutes
SteaksTwo steaksWholeNone390 degrees10–20 minutes
BurgersFour quarter-pound pattiesOne inch thickNone375 degrees8-10 minutes
Frozen Foods
Chicken nuggetsOne box or 12oz.NoneNone390 degrees10-13 minutes
Chicken cutletsFive cutletsNoneNone390 degrees18-20 minutes
Fish filletsOne boxNoneNone390 degrees14-16 minutes
French fries1-lbNoneNone390 degrees20-25 minutes
Fish sticks18 fish sticksNoneNone360 degrees10-13 minutes
Mozzarella sticksOne boxNoneNone375 degrees8-10 minutes

Healthy and junk food chart – How to use an Air Fryer?

  • Preheat your air fryer for 3-5 minutes
  • Use the built-in timer to set the countdown
  • Reduce the temperature by 25 degrees for conventional oven-based recipes
  • Use at least one tablespoon of oil for fresh vegetables and potatoes
  • Add more oil when needed
  • Use a crisper plate to achieve more crispiness
  • Fully insert the basket in the air fryer during cooking
  • Arrange ingredients in even layers for consistent browning
  • Adjust the cooking time and temperature
  • Use a thermometer to monitor temperature levels
  • Shake the basket frequently
  • Remove the food when you achieve your desired brownness level
  • Clean your air fryer before and after each use
  • Keep the air fryer near the window for proper ventilation
  • Use distilled vinegar to remove hardened leftover particles from the basket
  • Don’t leave the air fryer unattended
  • Check the air fryer from time to time during cooking to avoid smoke and burning

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