The Food Guide Pyramid is a suggestion how to eat healthy, what to eat frequently, what to eat sparingly and what to avoid to keep health and well-being. Remember: The Food Guide Pyramid shows general guidelines which have to be individually adapted. The first rule of healthy nutrition habits is a diverse menu; thus, it should include food from various food groups. The lower they are in the Pyramid, the more of them should compose your diet. NOTE: the diet itself is not enough. Also, the amount of liquids and physical activity is important.

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The base of your diet should be composed our of the cereal products. Choose products with the “whole” before the grain name. Whole-wheat flour, brown rice, barley, whole grain pasta, whole bread, natural cereal breakfast like oatmeal should be eaten at least 3 times a day as they are rich source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Avoid refined grains like white flour, white bread, white rice because they are devoid of those valuable nutrients.

The second group of the Food Guide Pyramid are vegetables and fruit. Eat them for each meal, i.e. 5 times a day. They are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidant and flavonoids. If you have to take care of your weight eat more veggies than fruit. Choose lettuce, broccoli, spinach, raw carrot, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes. But some vegetables like potatoes, cooked carrot, pumpkin, cooked beets should be limited. Some fruits like grapes and bananas contain a lot of sugar that is why the quantity also should be limited.

The next group: milk and milk products are rich in protein, and are a primary source of calcium (especially milk, hard natural cheeses and fermented beverages i.e. yoghurt and kefir). Choose low fat or fat free products, because milk fat may adversely affect your health (may increase cholesterol and blood pressure). If you have lactose intolerance eliminate milk and choose lactose free products.

Next product’s group i.e. meat, fish, eggs and beans are rich source of protein. Meat is also a very good source of iron. Choose low fat or lean meat and poultry because fat from meat can be harmful to health. Eat meat in moderation, instead choose frequently fish, beans, nuts and seeds. Fish, next to protein this subgroup is a good source of minerals. Fatty fish like salmon, trout, mackerel, halibut, are very valuable since they contain omega 3 fatty acids – the kind of fat which can e.g. lower down the cholesterol level and is good for nervous system. Do not forget to include in your menu different kinds of beans, nuts and seeds.

They are good source of starch and protein, rich in dietary fibre, minerals and certain vitamins. It is important group while you watch your weight. When you eat them your glucose level will increase slowly and for a long time you will not fill hungry. Eggs are also valuable food, because they contain high biological value proteins, lecithin, some important minerals and vitamins. On top of the Food Guide Pyramid there are different kinds of fats.

Make most of your fat sources from vegetable oils, nuts and fish. Limit solid fats like butter, margarine and lard. On the peak of the Pyramid there are the products made from „unhealthy” ingredients like sugar, white flour, white rice. Those ingredients are highly processed and contain so called empty calories which means that besides energy they will not deliver any valuable nutrients. You will find here sweats, cakes, chips, white bread, crackers, pretzels etc. You should avoid these products, they can be consumed really occasionally. This is especially important for people who want to lose weight. A salt also will be find here. Sodium is necessary but only in small amount. One teaspoon daily will cover the demand. But you must know that, besides the salt you use to your meals, there is plenty of salt used during production of many products e.g. cold meat, hard cheese, caned products, stock cube etc.

The excess of sodium is harmful to health as it increases blood pressure. Instead use to your meals herbs and other spices. Below Pyramid there is water and physical activities. This means that in order to stay healthy you have to drink sufficient amount of liquids and that you have to stay active. Drink water which will not only quench your thirst but also it will clean up your body from metabolic products, keep the right temperature, wet the joints etc. Drink daily at least 1,5 liters. Physical activity is also very important for your health.

Choose the activity you like. Look for everyday opportunities to move e.g. take steps instead of elevator, walk when you talking on the phone etc. Physical activities help to prevent obesity and will support you to lose weight. The best will be if you move daily 1 hour (different kinds of activities), the minimum is 30 minutes. From the Food Guide Pyramid you will only learn what to eat and what to avoid.

- If you want to learn more about healthy habits read the “Ten healthy habits”.

- If you want to know what is your energy requirements go to “Calculators” of Basal and Total Metabolic Rate