To stay healthy, it is essential to eat varied nutritious foods daily. The food pyramid offers an easy way to know about healthy eating.

 Most people are familiar with the food pyramid. It is a triangular guide containing details of the foods that should be consumed, from the least to the most based on the servings.

A Guide to the Food Pyramid

The food pyramid first started in the 1960s as a response to the increase in heart ailments, and to help people be aware of healthy eating habits. There are many facets of the food pyramid that help you analyze what you are eating and the things that you need to change in order to maintain a healthy diet. The pyramid has been revamped as per new guidelines which aim to ensure that people get adequate nutrients, without going overboard in their food habits.

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The major food groups include.

• Milk (3-4 servings)
Foods such as cheese, yogurt, and milk fall in this group. The chief component is calcium that helps to build strong bones and teeth.

• Vegetables (3-5 servings)
Vegetables are excellent sources of vitamin A and fiber. Keep in mind that darker colored vegetables such as broccoli and carrots contain more nutrients.

A Guide to the Food Pyramid

• Fruits (2-4 servings)
Fruits are great sources of vitamin C that heals wounds and cuts and works to keep the skin healthy. Fruits also contain fibre that aids in digestion.

• Grains (6-11 servings)
The food provides energy as it contains carbohydrates. Some grains that you can include in your everyday diet are rice, cereals, pasta and bread.

A Guide to the Food Pyramid

• Meats and beans (2-3 servings)
This group provides protein and iron that offers you strong muscles.
The food groups are arranged vertically and not horizontally such as the older model. The groups are represented by six different colors including green, orange, yellow, red, purple and blue. Experts say that it is important to have food from every group. The food pyramid is updated every five years. The updated guide now also includes exercise guidelines that recommend that you workout for at least 30 minutes daily.

The current food pyramid is tailored to specific groups including pregnant women and children. It puts an emphasis on eating healthier foods. Similar to the past pyramids, the new one also puts minimum stress on consumption of fats. Also, it not only focuses on healthy eating, but on eating the recommended calories for a particular age group and sex as well. While eating plenty of healthy food is good, portion control is essential as well. The pyramid seeks to help people stay away from the trap of “empty” calories, which is obtained from food items such as candy and chips that do not possess any health benefit but adds to a person’s daily calorie intake.

One of the aims of the food pyramid is to focus on exercise and weight control. With increasing obesity rates all across the world, it is essential to focus on healthy eating as well as maintaining safe weight through physical activity and portion control. The food pyramid offers detailed guidelines on diet, calorie intake and exercise recommendations for people of all age groups including children, teens, pregnant women, men, women, elderly among others.

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Good health is crucial to help us function well. It is important to be conscious of the everyday nutritional requirements of the body and pick the right combination of foods for every meal. We need to be particular about our food intake as this is what keeps our body functioning well. The basic rule in health is that the weight should be in proportion to height.

As the saying goes, you are what you eat. Proper food habits can help decrease the risk of heart ailments and several other diseases. A healthy eating plan means that you pick the right foods to eat and prepare them in a healthy way.

The updated pyramid is an excellent guide on how to have a healthy lifestyle through a nutritious, healthy diet and a regimen of physical activity. As always, it is a good idea to consult your doctor before you start any health regimen.

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