Healthy Eating Pyramid Magic That Kick Starts Your Health Barometer
The healthy eating pyramid not only emphasizes on healthy, nutritious food but also on daily exercise & weight control as the latter is viewed to play a vital role to keep you healthy too.
Basically, the pyramid recommend the intake of food from different food groups every day but it doesn’t specify the number of calories you take as this varies from one person to another and depends on factors like sex, age and lifestyle.
Let’s see the food you should consume from each food group:
1. Whole Grain Group
Examples are: oatmeal, whole-wheat bread/pasta, brown rice, barley
You should eat this food at most meals; serving size is 1 piece or 4 oz.
Your body needs carbohydrates for energy. The best source of carbohydrates is whole grain. It has bran (outer layer)) and germ (inner layer) stuffed with energy-rich starch.
Whole grain is complex carbohydrate, hence your body takes time to process and digest it. This is good for you as it helps to stabilize your blood sugar level, unlike simple carbohydrate like white bread and white rice, which gets absorbed into your body fast and hence cause sudden spike-up in your blood sugar.
A stabilized blood sugar (and insulin) helps keep your hunger at bay and may prevent onset of type 2 diabetes.
2. Plant Oils Group
Examples are: canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil, olive oil and sunflower oil.
You should consume 2 oz every day.
These are good, healthy unsaturated fats which can lower your LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol or popularly known as “bad cholesterol”. They also protect your heart from sudden and potentially dangerous heart rhythm problems.
3. Fruits & vegetables Group
Examples: all types of fruits & vegetables
You should eat 2-3 servings of fruits; 1 serving = 1 piece of fruit or 4 oz; lots of vegetables with 3 or more servings every day, each serving = 6 oz.
And eat a great variety of the fruits and vegetables.
When you eat lots of fruits & vegetables, you can decrease your risk of a heart attack or stroke; some types of cancers; high blood pressure and cataract and muscular degeneration.
4. Fish, Poultry and Eggs Group
You should consume 1-2 servings of poultry, fish, or eggs; each serving = 4 oz or 1 egg.
Fish can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Chicken and turkey are poultry that are good sources of protein. Eat the skinned lean cut portions to lower your intake your saturated fats.
Eggs aren’t as bad as you think and 1 egg every day or every other day is OK. It’s better than if you take a cookie baked in trans fat…..
5. Nuts and Legumes Group
Examples of nuts: walnuts, pecans, pistachios, hazelnuts, almonds.
Examples of legumes: garbanzos, navy beans and black beans
You should consume 1-3 servings of nuts, or legumes every day; each serving = 2 oz.
Nuts and legumes are rich in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Nuts contain healthy fats which are good for your heart.
6. Dairy or Calcium Supplement Group
Dairy products are rich in calcium which is vital for strong bones and bone building.
Examples of dairy products: milk, cheese, butter, cream
You should 1-2 servings of dairy or calcium supplement; each serving = 8 oz of non fat or 4 oz of whole fat.
Replace your usual whole milk and cheese with healthy sources of calcium from no-fat or low-fat dairy products.
You can get your calcium from supplement too.
Eat white rice, white bread, potatoes, white pasta, soda, and sweets only rarely as they can cause sudden jumps in blood sugar that can lead to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic disorders.
You can consider taking multiple vitamin and multi mineral which can offer a kind of nutritional backup. But I must say it can’t replace healthy eating, or make up for unhealthy eating – it can fill in the nutritional gap.
By: Cecelia Yap
USDA Food Pyramid Explained
The USDA continually releases new versions of the food pyramid. Find out how to decipher the latest guidelines. For more info, check out the About.com article: nutrition.about.com Watch More How To Videos on our YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com Watch More How To Videos on About.com: video.about.com Connect with About.com on Facebook www.facebook.com Follow About.com Video on Twitter: twitter.com