Sunday, June 24, 2012

Food Pyramid Facts: A Refresher Course

We've learned about the food pyramid our whole lives, but honestly, how much do you really remember about it?  Unless you're in a profession requiring you to know, training for those professions, have a stellar memory, or are just very curious like me, I'd say that there's probably not that many details you can recall.  Well, here is a bit of a refresher course on the food pyramid and it's components.

The Basic Facts:
The food pyramid consists of
1. Breads, cereals, potatoes (40% of diet)              Largest Portion of Meal
2. Fruits and veggies (30% of diet)                                  
3. Dairy products                                      
4. Meat and fish                                        
5. Fats and Sugars                                               Smallest Portion of Meal
    (3,4,5 combined are 30% of diet)

Remember this information, and along with the following tips for healthier eating and you'll be making smarter food choices in no time!

Additional Facts:

Breads, Cereals, Potatoes
These are our starchy carbohydrates which are the major source of energy for our bodies.  They are low in fat and high in carbs and fiber.  It should be the biggest portion of your meals.
Examples: Whole grain cereals, bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, yams

Fruits and Veggies
We all know that fruit and vegetables are good for us.  Why?  Because they are low in fat and high in dietary fiber, rich with vitamins, minerals and other plant chemicals that are believed to play a part in preventing common illnesses.  This should be the second largest portion of your meals.

Dairy Products
Dairy provides the body with protein, calcium and zinc, as well as vitamins B12, B2, A, and D.  Try to choose the low fat options when they are provided.  Dairy should be the third largest portion of your meal.
Examples: Milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs

Meat and Fish
This category is all about protein!  It is a source of B vitamins and minerals like iron (which is important if you want to donate blood), calcium, magnesium and zinc.  It should be the fourth largest potion of your meal.
Examples: Lean meat, poultry, fish, lentils, legumes, eggs, soy products, nuts and seeds

Fats and Sugars
There isn't much good about this category.  Too much fat intake can lead to obesity and heart disease and too much sugar intake can lead to weight gain and tooth decay.
Examples: sugar, honey, margarine, butter, cooking oils, oil-based dressing, ice cream, pastries, cookies, confectionery and soft drinks (essentially anything that tastes really good and sweet)

Eating healthy means eating balanced.

Ways to accomplish this: 
Eat a variety of food
Don't eat second helpings
Go for low fat options
Avoid salt and sugar when you sit down to eat
Eat smaller meals and snacks instead of fewer, larger meals (the "3 square meals a day")
Eat only when you're hungry, not when you're bored
Avoid temptation foods because you might buy on impulse
Drink (alcohol) in moderation (**This is one that people usually forget about or disregard, but it has a big impact)

Hope this was helpful, or at least informative!!

Photo Inspiration:




No comments:

Post a Comment