Picture of Food Nutrition Pyramid
Picture of Food Plate

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

The Food Nutrition Pyramid is one of your best tools for achieving healthy, permanent weight loss results.

Want a leaner body? A healthier body? A body that not only achieves lean, but stays lean?

Then look no further than the official Food Nutrition Pyramid. While the government is currently concentrating on the Food Plate - the backbone is still the Food Nutrition Pyramid.

This vital tool to optimum health is extremely easy to comprehend and follow. Simply put, the official Food Groups are stacked to form the pyramid. The base contains the group that is continually under attack by carb-restricted diets and the recommendations for this Food Group exceeds the others minimally by 3 to 1 - thereby lending great importance in the area of nutritional values to this group.

The Vegetable Group is next in line where recommended daily servings are concerned. While the remaining groups of the Food Nutrition Pyramid are important for optimum health, they are considered as building blocks.

Let's take a closer look at the Food Groups housed within the Nutrition Pyramid as well as dangers of one-food diets and specialized diets such as protein-based plans.

Picture of Food Nutrition Pyramid

Picture of Food Nutrition Pyramid

Picture of Food Plate

Picture of Food Plate

Nutrition in the Grain Food Group

Whole grain foods such as pasta, wild, brown & white rice, couscous, all flours & recipes prepared with such - like breads from pita to banana bread.

Grains assists in keeping appetite under control, specifically when opting for whole grain goodness. The next time you are assaulted with a bad case of the hungries, try grabbing a bowl of oats. Cheerios, oatmeal, other whole grain cereals - all are excellent choices for battling weight gain and keeping the appetite satisfied.

Recommended servings from the Grain Food Group are 6 - 11 per day and include: bread, cereal, rice and pasta.

Again, opting for whole grain not only delivers healthier benefits than non-whole grain food choices, but whole grain can assist in keeping your appetite satisfied for longer periods of time while providing essential energy to the body.

Nutrition in the Vegetable Food Group

Includes green leafy selections, yellow & orange vegetables, canned, frozen & dried vegetables and particularly those in their raw state.

This is next in line based on recommended number of daily servings - 3 to 5 per day.

Keep in mind that not all calories are created equal.

While a stalk of celery contains minimal calories - often referred to as 'free calories', corn, potatoes and yams pack more punch where caloric values are concerned. Therefore, choose wisely.

Nutrition in the Fruit Food Group

Tomatoes and avocados are classified as fruits but are commonly assumed to be in the Vegetable Group.

Healthy Sub-Groups

The Fruit Group, like others, contains sub-groups. One is the Citrus Fruit Group which contains limes, lemons, grapefruit and other foods which are citrus-based. This sub-group should be included daily. One quick method for getting your blast of Vitamin C, citrus selection is to enjoy a serving of 100% orange juice for breakfast or with one of your other daily meals.

Selections include: natural raw fruit, canned, dried and frozen fruits.

The Fruit Group has an RDA of 2 to 4 servings. Again, choose wisely as caloric values can be immense. An apricot contains about 17 calories, 1/2 cup of most berries contain about 50 calories as does most varieties of melon while apples, bananas and pears tend to pack twice the number of calories.

Nutrition in the Protein Food Group

Includes nuts and nut butters, edible seeds, eggs, legumes and beans, animal and vegetable proteins. This Food Group recommends 2 to 3 servings per day.

Complete Proteins

Take note that protein comes in the forms of animal proteins and vegetable proteins. In addition, certain foods create 'complete proteins'. Meats are complete proteins as are dairy products. Meats should be free of visible fat with skin removed. When purchasing ground beef, opt for the leanest cut possible.

Nutrition in the Dairy Food Group

Milk and its by-products such as cheese, yogurt, and buttermilk. This Food Group requires 2 to 3 servings per day - mirroring the Protein Group servings.

Opt for skim, reduced fat and low fat varieties which offer more calcium benefits and less caloric content.


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