Food Pyramid Breakdown
Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites
Breakdown of the American Food Pyramid
While the Food Pyramid isn't perfect, it's our best model for healthy eating at this point in time. Recently the USDA created the Food Plate to accompany the pyramid. We have posted images of both of these eating modules below for your quick reference.
Did you know that if you don't have the proper amount of vitamins and minerals in your daily diet that your body will not be able to balance your weight easily? Certain vitamins and minerals are vital in regulating weight.
When our body doesn't receive adequate nutritional needs, it simply doesn't perform at its best.
Health studies have proven that seniors who receive their adequate intake of vitamins and minerals tend to weigh less that those individuals who do not consume their minimum daily requirement of vitamins and minerals. It is logical thinking that this applies to all age groups.
If we embrace the foods from good Mother Earth, we'll be able to get these vital nutrients from natural food sources - which are much better than commercially produced vitamins.
However, when dieting, if you are on a reduced calorie diet be sure to take a multi-vitamin just to ensure that you are receiving adequate nutritional needs. Speak with your doctor about their recommendations in this area.
The Food Groups, Recommended Servings Based on 2000 Calorie Diet Supporting Recommended Weight
Food Groups contain healthy vitamins and minerals that support our level of health.
There are 6 building blocks of health which reside in the Food Pyramid. 5 of these are considered Basic Food Groups: Vegetables, Grains, Fruits, Proteins and Dairy with Fat being the 6th element necessary to good health.
Acidic Food Groups vs Alkaline Food Groups, Highest & Lowest Calorie Food Groups
As a note, foods from the grain, protein and dairy groups tend to be acidic in nature. For a more alkaline body - which is desirable over an acidic pH body, consume more fruits and vegetables throughout your day.
These two groups also contain more food choices which are lowest in calories and fatty acid content - in comparison to the grain, protein and dairy groups.
Grains and dairy foods generally are the two groups which add the most calories to the American diet.
Although the building bock which is identified as 'fat' - and which is a healthy component to good health - isn't a recognized food group, fat that is added to the foods that we consume comprises a huge bulk of unnecessary calories.
Fat includes butter, margarine, cream cheese, sour cream, spreads, salad dressings, cooking oils, and those foods containing these ingredients.
The other unspoken element which contributes significant empty calories to the American diet is sugar which includes molasses, syrup, brown sugars, and powdered sugar.
We do not include honey is this grouping because it holds healthy benefits and it is a natural sugar.
For example, eating local honey may combat allergies in some individuals.
The Food Group, Sub Groups
Almost all of the Food Groups contain sub-grouping. Let's look at these in further detail.
The Grain Sub Groups, Base of Food Pyramid, Whole Grain Factor
Grains: The sub-groups are refined grains, natural grains and whole grains.
More servings are required from this group than all the rest; 6-11 daily. A serving size equals any of the following grains: 1 slice of whole grain bread of any variety, 1 slice of fruit-based breads such as banana or raisin bread, a flour or corn tortilla, a rice or popcorn cake, 1 cup of pasta or noodles or couscous or wild rice, brown rice or white rice or about 1 to 1½ cups of most cereals.
Fruits & Vegetables, Often Missing in American Daily Diet
The citrus fruit group is a sub-group. Some foods in the Fruit Group are often mistaken for vegetables. Two of the most common include the tomato and the avocado.
Sub-groups include cruciferous vegetables which include cabbages, brussels sprouts, and greens; other sub-groups include vegetables of color such as green, yellow and red - such as found in beets, greens, lettuce, and squash.
Proteins, Lean & Vegetable-Based the Healthiest
Sub-groups include animal proteins such as found in meats, poultry and seafood, and vegetable proteins such as found in nuts, seeds, beans and legumes.
Off-shoots include eggs, milk, cheese and other foods which qualify as 'complete' proteins. Opting for vegetable based proteins over animal proteins makes a significantly healthy choice.
Dairy Food Group, Low Fat or Reduced Regular Recommended Serving
We have regular dairy products and those which have been reduced in fat content. Both are healthy choices. Use those highest in fat sparingly - such as butter, sour cream and cream cheese. In addition, monitor those with high sodium concentrations such as cottage cheese and solid and liquid cheeses.
By ensuring that you're getting your body's adequate nutritional needs, you may find that you're not only losing that unwanted weight - but that you're losing weight at a more rapid weight than you expected. Oh my - the benefits of good health!
Pictures of the American Food Pyramid & Food Plate
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