Healthy Diet Plan › Healthy Food Pyramid
Healthy food pyramid is your ultimate guide to healthy eating habits and successful weight loss.
What should you eat to lose weight? Or gain it? Or most importantly – maintain it?
Many dietologist and many dieters are still in search for the perfect answer to those questions. And the result is countless diets and sophisticated eating plans. Unfortunately, most of them carry more damage to your body than benefit.
Instead of wasting our precious time (and health) trying new diets over and over again, we should listen to what scientists have to say about healthy eating habits:
The idea of presenting healthy eating guidelines in a form of pyramid comes from a long time ago. You probably have come across one of those brick like food pyramids before. The biggest brick, located at the bottom, represents complex carbohydrates; the one on top of it: proteins, and so on. This is an old food pyramid and it has few shortcomings:
It appears as though the biggest brick on the bottom is the most important one. But that is wrong! All of the ‘bricks’ are equally important.
Physical Activity is not taken into consideration. And the top of the pyramid is made of sweets and junk foods. They are excluded from the new food pyramid because, unfortunately, that is not what healthy eating is all about.
Imagine a pyramid that consists of different vertical sectors. Each sector is a nutritious food group. All food groups in this healthy food pyramid are equally important, and skipping at least one may damage your health.
Of course some food groups are larger than the others: it is obvious that we have to eat more veggies than fats. But even the smallest food group is still as important as the rest.
The key to healthy eating is that your body should get everything it needs. It is particularly important if you are overweight: you body will not give that fat away until it gets used to receiving all necessary nutrients.
Another important improvement of the new healthy food pyramid is that it takes your physical activity, lifestyle and dieting goals into considerations. Some people need more nutrients and calories because they have a busy and active lifestyle; others with light activity need less food. However, the correlation of food groups stays approximately the same for everyone.
For a woman with moderate physical activity it is necessary to eat about 1200-1500 calories per day in order to lose weight. Daily meals should include all food groups in the following proportions:
For a man with low physical activity it is necessary to eat about 1600-1900 calories per day in order to lose weight. Daily meals should include all food groups in the following proportions:
Note: The above recommendations are approximate. Your height and weight, unique situation and health condition should be taken into consideration before planning a healthy diet (for example those with hormonal imbalances, diabetes or other medical conditions should discuss their diet with the doctor.).
Use my free calorie counter to find out how many calories you need per day.
They are main energy source for our system, plus they have lots of vitamins and active minerals. Our body needs starches to make sure we are not starving ourselves. The lack of starchy foods will result in slow metabolism and weight gain. 1 portion of starches is:
Note: Choose whole grain products instead of refined grains.
Fruits are main source of vitamins, minerals and pectin (fiber). They contain complex carbohydrates therefore supply our bodies with energy.
They have a lot of fiber and make you feel full. They are psychologically important because they help you fight hunger while you are on a diet. They also provide you with tons of vitamins and minerals and keep your digestive tract healthy. 1 portion of vegetable is:
Proteins (Meats or Beans)
They are essential for building and restoring your muscles and internal organs. They are necessary to keep your body cells active making you look and feel young. 1 portion of proteins is:
They are main material for building body cells membranes and many hormones. They also are a main source of fat soluble vitamins. 1 portion of fats is:
Dairy Products (Milk)
They are main calcium source. I recommend yogurt from this food group because it is very easily digested and it helps maintaining a healthy gastrointestinal tract flora. 1 portion of dairy is:
This is key element of our new pyramid. Without staying physically active you healthy diet will not be complete. Nutrients are better absorbed when you body cells work properly. That happens when they get enough oxygen through physical activity. Read my exercise tips and other physical activity ideas to learn different ways on how to enjoy exercising.
If you want to learn more about healthy food pyramid and different food groups you should visit healthy food pyramid USDA website. There is a lot of useful information and few interactive tools that will help you create your own personalized food pyramid and plan healthy menu.