Food pyramid

Because there is little information in Polish about the current Nutrition Pyramid and planning a diet, we should know what products to avoid and what are to be the basis of our nutrition, I put an article on this topic.  

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The last food pyramid, called the Healthy Nutrition Pyramid, will not be the last one but it may be the best yet. 

Using the shape of the pyramid to show what foods should be started started when the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) created the Food Pyramid in 1992. Since then, several pyramids have been added to show the eating habits of people of all ages (children and the elderly), different ethnic groups (Hispanics, Asians) and different points of view about what makes a healthy diet (Mediterranean diet). 

The last supplement, called the Pyramid of Healthy Nutrition, is a reflection of the most current nutrition research conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Harvard Medical School. 

 

 

Pyramid of Healthy Nutrition 

The main difference between the new and the old, original pyramid focuses on the balance between carbohydrates and fats. For ten years, doctors and dieticians have told people to eat more carbohydrates and avoid fat, but people in the United States and around the world have become obese in an alarming way. This led scientists to question their nutritional recommendations. The Healthy Nutrition Pyramid divides coals and fats into good and bad, and not as the old ones combine them. The new pyramid suggests other equally important changes including 

– limiting red meat, potatoes and processed cereals, such as white bread 

– limiting dairy products to one or two servings a day 

– substitution of unhealthy fats saturated with healthier unsaturated vegetable oils 

-using large amounts of wholegrain cereals, fruits and vegetables 

– daily multivitamins 

– you have a limited amount of alcohol 

 

 

From the Mediterranean

In many cases, the Pyramid of Healthy Nutrition resembles an older pyramid developed by the Oldways Preservation & Exchange Trust (the non-governmental organization promoting a healthy lifestyle) and the Harvard School of Public Health. The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid was invented after scientists noticed that people who live near the Mediterranean (Italy, Greece, Spain) have lower levels of obesity, heart disease and cancer than most Americans. (Scientists warn that diet is only a part of this state of affairs, these people also eat less than a typical American and take more traffic every day.) 

 

A typical Mediterranean diet compared to the American one 

– poorer in saturated fats (animal fat derived from meat, full-fat milk and cheese); 

– richer in monounsaturated fatty acids (olive oil); 

– places more emphasis on vegetables, fruits and legumes 

 

The most important assumptions of the Mediterranean diet 

– individual portions are not given. Instead, the foods are divided into those for “daily,” several times a week and “several times a month. 

– the basic layer (the one at the very bottom) includes potatoes, polenta, couscous, bulgur (a type of wheat groats) and other grains 

(USDA mentions only bread, grain, rice and pasta) 

-food, legumes and nuts are important, they are in the range of those that need to be consumed daily. 

– olive oil is distinguished by having its own place in the pyramid, in its middle part 

-the fry, poultry, eggs and sweets can be eaten only a few times a week 

– red meat, appearing at the top of the pyramid, eat only a few times a month 

– wine is recommended but in moderate amounts 

 

And the Pyramid of Healthy Nutrition and the Pyramid of the Mediterranean Diet give Americans the basis to choose the right balance between food products. If you are a vegetarian you will have to adjust your pyramid to be sure that you provide enough protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals. 

 

For young and old 

People who are more than 70 years old also have their own pyramid. Researchers at Tufts University’s USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging have published a modified pyramid that targets mainly older Americans. 

 

Differences between the 70+ Pyramid and the original one 

– the base is recommended 8 or more glasses of water a day. Although everyone should drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, this must be emphasized because the bodies of older people are less likely to alert them about the need for water. Drinking plenty of water can also help relieve constipation, a common disorder of aging adults. 

-flag at the top of the pyramid recommends supplementation with calcium, vitamin D and B12. It is difficult for many older people to deliver the right amount of vitamins from food alone. 

– Seniors for the elderly are also thinner than the standard, suggesting that older people should eat like “slimming people to cut calories, eating more nutrient-rich foods instead of high-calorie foods. 

Young children aged 2-6 have their own pyramid, similar to the USDA pyramid but with pictures of products that children commonly eat. Portions have also been changed, reflecting the true eating habits of children. Illustrations surrounding the pyramid show children involved in various forms of physical activity, emphasizing the importance of exercises – or in this case, play – in the lives of healthy children. 

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You can read also: HEALTHY NUTRITION

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