The Healthy Eating Pyramid is a guide developed by members of the Harvard School of Public Health to help you plan a healthy diet.
Why is it Helpful?
The Pyramid helps you choose what and how much to eat from each food group so that you:
Get the nutrients you need.
Consume the correct amount of energy to control your weight.
Restrict your intake of fats, sugar or alcohol.
The Healthy Eating Pyramid has six levels called “the good group” and each level gives an idea of all the nutrients you need on a daily basis. Each of these food groups provides some of the nutrients you need (but not all). Foods from one group cannot replace those from another and they are all equally important. For good health, you need them all.
Carbohydrates: This group is mainly derived from grains. It includes bread, cereals, rice and pasta. These foods should make up the greatest part of your daily diet. Aim for 6 to 11 servings a day.
Vitamins and Minerals: These are foods from plant sources, i.e. vegetables and fruits. Most people need to eat more of these foods as they supply fibre, vitamins and minerals. The recommendation is to eat 3 to 5 servings of vegetables and 2 to 4 servings of fruits daily.
Dairy: These products such as milk, yogurt and cheese. These foods are an important source of protein and calcium. The recommended daily amount is 2 to 3 servings per day.
Protein: This includes meat, poultry, fish and eggs. Dried beans and nuts are also in this group. Recommended daily servings are 2 to 3. These foods are important because they provide protein, calcium, iron and zinc.
Fats, oils and sugars: These foods provide taste and calories. A small amount of oil or fat is needed but it should be used sparingly due to the high energy content. Sugar will contribute extra calories with no other nutritional benefits.
The number of food servings a person needs depends on their age, body type, sex and physical activity. I recommend that you consult a dietician to determine what your exact needs are.
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