The Food Pyramid – Guidelines To A Proper Diet
The food pyramid was published by the United States Department of Agriculture in 1992. It has been defined by firms like Ecological Formulas as guidelines for a proper diet based on the six different food types found in the pyramid including oils, fruits, grains, beans, vegetables, and milk.
Vegetables are subdivided into five groups according to their nutrient content. There is the dark green vegetables, which include kale, collard greens, broccoli and spinach; orange vegetables including pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots and butternut squash; dry beans and peas vegetables including soy beans, black beans, tofu, pinto beans and kidney beans, and starchy vegetables including celery, corn, lima beans, potatoes and green beans. The required servings per day should be at least five.
Foods made from barley, oats, wheat, or rice fall under the grain category. They come in two groups: refined grains and whole grains. Refined grains have a fine texture, but with less vitamin B and irons. Whole grains, on the other hand, have the entire grain intact because they have not undergone any refining process. For a healthy body, the USDA recommends six to eleven servings of grain a day.
The milk group contains foods with high calcium content. Despite the name of this food group, it does not include cheese, cream, and butter. Three cups of milk a day helps your body meet the calcium level required for strong and healthy bones. Milk-based desserts, cheese, yogurt, and milk are examples of milk products.
Fruits are low in calories and fats and are natural sources of sugar, vitamins, and fiber. However, they lose nutrients when they are processed. A daily serving of two to four servings is recommended. The oil group consists of canola, corn, olive and soy bean oil. Foods such as avocados, fish, and nuts are high in oil. Oils should be taken in moderation to prevent health problems.
Meat and beans group comprise of foods made from fish, meat, poultry, eggs, seeds, dry beans and nuts. Low fat meat choices are recommended. Fish, nuts, and seeds are preferred because they contain healthy oils. The recommended number of daily servings of meat and beans is three to five.
Breakfast, lunch, and supper should be planned to include all food groups. A balanced meal is good for a healthy and active lifestyle. For breakfast, you can have vegetable juice and a bowl of oats with walnuts and raisins then finish off with a glass of milk. For lunch, you can have a slice of bread followed by a vegetable and protein salad and then top it off with yogurt that has berries and bananas. For dinner, some vegetables, meat or beans and whole grains can start of the meal. As you wind down you can have a glass of milk and a dish of mixed fruits.