- The Food Pyramid is an easy way to create a healthy diet. It consists of 6 food groups and 4 levels.
- One should eat more servings per day from the lower levels, fewer from the higher ones.
- Grains form the lowest level and the foundation of the pyramid.
- Grains contain complex carbohydrates, B vitamins, iron, protein, magnesium and fiber.
- 6 to 11 servings each day (at least 50% of your total calories) from this group, which includes cereals, rice and pasta.
- Fruits and vegetables are the next level.
- These foods are naturally fat- and cholesterol-free, as well as low in sodium.
- They also contain a rich supply of vitamins A and C, potassium, magnesium and fiber, which may reduce the risk of certain cancers.
- 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
- Dairy, meat and meat alternatives are on the pyramid's third level.
- Dairy products – such as cheese and milk – provide calcium, protein, vitamins B, D and A.
- The meat and meat alternatives – which include poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs and nuts – are rich sources of protein, phosphorus, vitamins B 6 and B 12 , zinc, magnesium, iron, niacin and thiamin.
- 2 to 3 servings from each of these groups daily.
- The top of the pyramid is for fats, oils and sweets.
- These foods are all high in calories, but low in nutritional value.
- Foods with high fat content include margarine, butter, salad dressing, mayonnaise, cream, cream cheese and sauces.
- Everything from cake, pie and doughnuts to soft drinks falls in the "sweets" category.
- Eat very sparingly from this group.
Why do we eat fast food?
- Convenience -especially when traveling
- Less time spent in kitchen
Why is fast food bad for us?
- Contains a lot of Calories
- Many fast foods are fried in fat - even if they are heated up in an oven.
What can we do?
- Choose salads and grilled foods instead of fried foods, and avoid the high-fat, high-calorie toppings.
- Trans fat is the common name for a type of unsaturated fat
- Unlike other dietary fats, trans fats are neither required nor beneficial for health
- Eating trans fats increases the risk of coronary heart disease