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Do you know the food pyramid?

The food pyramid

What to eat and how much to stay healthy and keep your weight of form? To illustrate the nutritional recommendations about the balanced diet, the food pyramid is the tool that serves as a reference.

How to read the food pyramid?

The food pyramid visually represents the ideal amounts of different food groups to arrive at a perfectly balanced diet. Its reading is quite simple: at the base of the pyramid, we find the foods that must be consumed in a majority and the closer we get to the top, the more the consumption of food represented must be moderate.

The basis of a healthy lifestyle is physical activity, which according to the new food pyramid is perfectly inseparable from a balanced diet. Physical activity is in a way the breeding ground on which the equilibrium of food must be erected. It is advisable to practice the equivalent of 30 minutes of brisk walking a day.

The food pyramid has been established in six levels:

The base: foods to promote

The base consists of drinks. Water is drinkable at will, as well as unsweetened drinks such as tea, coffee (possibly decaffeinated), herbal teas and infusions for example. These drinks must be consumed at a rate of 1.5 to 2 liters of water a day and it is recommended to choose water, if possible free of pesticides and by-products of chlorine.

1st floor

The first level of the food pyramid is represented by the family of fruits and vegetables. These are the foods to be favored on a daily basis and which must be consumed in larger quantities. Fresh, frozen (but not prepared), possibly canned, fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. For a balanced diet, it is advisable to eat 3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruits a day. According to the WHO this would amount to consuming between 400 and 800 g of fruits and vegetables a day. The vegetables should also fill two thirds or even half of the plate of lunch and dinner.

2nd floor

The second level of the food pyramid concerns starchy foods that are represented by cereals and cereal products. It is mainly bread, and rusks, pasta, semolina, rice, wheat and potatoes, but also cereals for breakfast. It is recommended to consume a portion of starchy foods at each meals and favor those who are the least refined possible, and therefore made with whole or complete flour. According to specialists, starchy foods should represent 1/4 to 1/3 of the plate.

3rd floor

The third level is represented by these foods that are a source of protein: meat, fish, eggs but also dairy products (including vegetable drinks) and plant alternatives mainly from soy (tofu, tempeh, soy protein, etc. .) and legumes. The latter are also called pulses and concern lentils (blond, coral, brown, green), dried beans (red, white, beans, etc.), beans, lupine, soy and peas (broken, chick , whole).

It is recommended to vary the sources of protein by alternating meat, fish, eggs and possibly soy products. These products should be consumed 1 to 2 times a day while you should eat 2 to 3 servings of milk a day: milk, yoghurt, cottage cheese, petits-suisse, faisselle, cheese or calcium-enriched vegetable drink.

4th floor

The fourth level of the food pyramid represents fats such as butter and oil, but also oleaginous fruits such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, olives, etc. For this food group, it is recommended to vary the sources and consume them in a moderate way.

The tip: unsavory foods

Finally, the food pyramid has a top that represents the foods that are allowed but must be consumed punctually and in small quantities. These are the foods that we could do without because they bring no nutritional interest: it is sweet and fatty products such as soft drinks, alcohol, pastries, confectionery and chocolate snacks for example .


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