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Understanding the Food Pyramid as Your Healthy Eating Guide

Eating healthy foods and actively moving by doing physical activities are two important things that can help improve your health. There is no single diet that can provide various nutrients needed by the body. Food pyramid you can make a guide to choosing healthy foods and determine the appropriate portion. The food pyramid is one of the nutritional guidelines in addition to the dinner plate guide that can be used to plan your healthy eating, through the type and size of healthy food portions in the form of a pyramid.

Understanding the Food Pyramid as Your Healthy Eating Guide

Regulating eating patterns, in the long run, is more important than just paying attention to food in one meal. If you get the proper nutrition you need, you can take care of your health, while also achieving your ideal weight. There are four levels or parts of the food pyramid, each level providing several types of food. From one group of food, types can not replace the types of food from another group. Because no type of food is more important than other types of food, you need everything to meet your daily nutrition.

The following are the levels of the food pyramid and the portion sizes of each food group that you need to know about:

1st level
Being at the most basic level of the pyramid, consisting of foods derived from grains (cereals) and most consumed every day such as bread, cereal, rice, and pasta. For this type of food, the recommended portion of 6-11 servings a day. Measuring 1 portion is equivalent to 1 slice of bread or 1/3 cup of rice.

Level 2
Consists of foods derived from plants, vegetables, and fruits that are needed by the body to get the intake of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. In the fruit group, you can consume 2-4 servings in one day, where 1 serving of fruit is equivalent to 1 medium-sized fruit, 3/4 cup of fruit juice, or 1/4 cup of dried fruit. As for vegetables, the recommended portion is 3-5 servings. 1 serving of vegetables is equivalent to 1 cup of raw vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, lettuce or spinach, 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables, or 3/4 cup of vegetable juice.

Level 3
At the third level, the pyramid consists of two food groups which are mostly derived from animals such as milk, yogurt, cheese, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and beans. Foods at this level are important for getting protein, calcium, iron, and zinc for your body.

For this type of food, 2-3 servings are recommended a day. For serving dairy foods, 1 serving is equivalent to 1 cup of milk, or 1.5 ounces of processed cheese. One serving of meat is equivalent to 3 ounces of beef, chicken, fish, and other types of meat. Besides meat, the food at this level can also be replaced. One ounce of meat can be replaced with 1/2 cup of canned peas, 1 egg, 3/4 cup of beans, or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.

An easy way to measure portions of meat is for 3 ounces of meat the same size as a deck of cards or the size of a woman's palm.

Level 4
Located at the very top or end of a small pyramid, consisting of fat, oil, and sugar. These foods include salad dressing, cream, butter, margarine, sugar, candy, soft drinks, and desserts that taste sweet. Foods at this level contain only a few calories and nutrients, so they need to be restricted in their use. Foods that contain high levels of sugar or salt are not good for health and oil. If consumed in excessive amounts can cause various diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

One serving of fat is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of oil, 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise or salad dressing, or 1 slice of bacon. While 1 serving is sweet, equal to 1 plain donut, or 1 teaspoon of sugar or honey.

The food pyramid above can help you to choose the type of food and control the amount of intake according to each level. Also, consult with your nutritionist about the best diet for you.

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