The general principles of healthy food can be presented in the form of a PYRAMID.
IIt’s important to eat well balanced meals. FFood Pyramid is a general guide of what to eat each day because people must eat a variety of foods to stay healthy. TThe balanced and healthy Food Pyramid was reworked from basic food groups, consisting of meat, dairy products, grains, fruit and vegetables. NNo one food group is more important than another, so a person needs them all for good health.
Message: Proportionality Differing widths of the color bands suggest about how much food should be eaten from each group
Message: Moderation Food group bands narrow from bottom to top suggesting to eat nutrient-dense forms of foods
Message: Physical Activity Steps and person on them symbolize that physical activity should be a part of everyday healthy living
Additional Messages in the MyPyramid Graphic Personalization: TThe name “MyPyramid” suggests an individual approach TThe person climbing the steps mentally links each viewer to the image Gradual Improvement: TThe slogan “Steps to a Healthier You” suggests that improvement should happen in stages, over time
Grains The foods in this group give your body energy. Eat 3-6 ounces of whole grain bread, cereal, rice, crackers or pasta daily
Vegetables You need 3-5 servings. Eat more dark green vegetables Eat more orange vegetables Eat more dry beans and peas
Fruit YYou need 2-4 servings a day. EEat a variety of fruit CChoose fresh, frozen, canned or dried fruit GGo easy on fruit juices
Milk You need 2-3 servings a day. Go low-fat or fat-free If you don’t or can’t consume milk, choose lactose-free products or other calcium sources
Meat and Beans You need 2-3 servings a day. Choose low-fat or lean meats and poultry Bake it, broil it, or grill it Vary your choices--with more fish, beans, nuts and seeds
“OTHERS” OOils, Fats, and Sweets TThis section doesn’t make up a food group. YYou shouldn’t use “Others” too much. Your body only needs a small amount of fat. SSugary foods usually don’t have many vitamins and have too much fat and calories in them.
Physical Activity Find your balance between food and physical activity –Be physically active for at least 30 minutes most days of the week –Children and teenagers should be physically active for 60 minutes every day, or most days
So we know how many servings we need from each food group. What’s a serving size?
Here’s an example of a serving size from each group: GGrains: 1 slice of bread VVegetables : 1/2 cups of cooked vegetables FFruits: 3/4 cup of juice MMilk: 1 cup of milk MMeat, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs and Nuts: 1 egg RRemember to limit your servings of Fats, Oils and Sweets
Now, how do we make all of these recommendations fit?
Remember the Basics MMix up your choices within each food group FFocus on fruits VVary your veggies GGet your calcium-rich foods GGo lean with protein EEat very little food containing fat, oil and sugar.