You may remember the food pyramid from grade school and the importance of following it. Whether you abided by the guidelines or not, most of us are aware of the foods groups and teach the younger generation the significance of this structure. However, the past few years have shown a great change in the eating habits of society and with childhood obesity and more adults living unhealthily, the powers that be have decided for a change in the food pyramid.
So whatís so different? For one thing, instead of one main food pyramid, there are now several. Each is specifically tailored for individual purposes, since not everybody maintains the same eating habits. There are now twelve different food pyramids, which vary depending on the individualís age, sex and physical activity level. The new food pyramids offer general tips for how to include every food group into a daily diet, such as substituting brown rice or whole wheat pasta instead of white rice and regular pasta.
Because too many are lacking the proper amounts of fruits and vegetables, the new food pyramids encourage individuals to practice good habits such as buying fresh produce and consuming them raw or steamed. To get more fruit into your everyday diet, the food pyramids suggest keeping a bowl full of your favorite fruits in the kitchen, as well as purchasing fruit that is frozen or canned with added sugars. Switching to low-fat or non-fat milk in oatmeal, coffee and cereal also make for an easier way to incorporate more dairy. Need more protein in your life? The new food pyramids offer helpful advice such as choosing skinless, lean meats, and eating more protein filled foods such as hummus, tofu, and black beans. The new food pyramids also encourage more physical activity, noting that individuals should aim to perform at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day to control weight gain.
In addition to this more ďuser-friendlyĒ food pyramid, there are also specific changes that come with the new breed of food pyramids. The old food pyramid made all fats the enemy but the new version makes it clear that not all fats are bad for you. New food pyramids now list the guidelines for consuming low levels of trans and saturated fats. People are encouraged to get between 20-35% of calories from fats and to gain the health benefits from both monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The new food pyramids also stress the importance of consuming whole grains. It is now okay to consume half of our grains as refined starch since this type of starch acts like sugar.
The great thing about the new generation of food pyramids is that each person, young or old, can learn more about their daily diet and what steps they should be taking to ensure a healthy lifestyle. To further educate the public about the importance of the food pyramid, there are online websites dedicated to offering general advice, information and suggestions for men and women of all races and ages. This allows each person to take control of his/her nutrition in way that is positive, healthy and safe.
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