does the new pyramid differ
from the old one? Take a look.
Food Guide Pyramid||Name:
graphic; one size fits all approach||Interactive
tool; customized based on age, gender and physical activity|
description of how much to eat ("servings sizes" could be confusing)||Detailed
description of how much to eat (for example, "2 cups of fruit per day")|
food categories (and suggested servings): |
bread, cereal, rice and pasta (6-11 servings)2.
vegetable (3-5 servings)
fruit (2-4 servings)4.
milk, yogurt and cheese (2-3 servings)
meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs and nuts (2-3 servings) 6.
fats, oils and sweets (use sparingly)
food categories (and suggested servings): |
grains (6 ounces)2.
vegetables (2 ½ cups)
fruits (2 cups)4.
milk (3 cups, 2 cups for kids aged 2 to 8)
meat and beans (5 ½ ounces)6.
oils (about 3-7 teaspoons, depending on age and gender)
mention of physical activity||Equal
emphasis on physical activity and healthy eating|
figures above are for a 2,000-calorie per day diet. The new interactive pyramid
at www.mypyramid.gov provides servings suggestions for other calorie diets.
biggest change in the new advice is to add physical activity to your day. Research
shows that 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day is needed
to reap health benefits. You're probably already doing some of these activities
throughout your week. The new guidelines stress the value of doing something every
Daily activity can help you control your weight, which helps to lower your risk
of a host of illnesses, including diabetes, heart attack and stroke.
briskly (about 3 ½ miles per hour — a mile in about 17 minutes)
(walking and carrying clubs)
(less than 10 miles per hour — a mile in 6 minutes or more)
training (general light workout)
(5 miles per hour — a mile in 12 minutes)
(more than 10 miles per hour — a mile in 6 minutes or less)
very fast (4 ½ miles per hour — a mile in about 13 minutes)
yard work, such as chopping wood
lifting (vigorous effort)
are two types of grains: whole and refined. Refined grains are processed to give
them a smoother texture and longer life on store shelves. Unfortunately, refining
removes fiber and iron. Refined grains are typically "enriched," which means the
manufacturer adds iron and vitamins back in, but enriching cannot add back fiber.
Fiber-rich foods lower levels of cholesterol, reduce the risk of death from heart
disease, improve bowel regularity and may help you manage your weight.
the ingredient list of the foods you buy. Look for "whole grain" or "whole wheat."
are many whole grains available, from the well known to the obscure:
wheat cereal flakes
bread, crackers, pasta
sandwich buns, rolls, tortillas
all vegetables are created equal. If you eat nothing but iceberg lettuce, it's
time to upgrade to some power-packed veggies.
A diet rich in vegetables can decrease high blood pressure, may reduce the risk
of stroke, type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and may protect against certain
new guidelines talk up the value of specific vegetables, including:
green vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, bok choy, mustard greens, kale
vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, squash (acorn, butternut, Hubbard)
for a Variety of Fruits
different fruits provide different nutrients and offer different health benefits,
do your best to eat a variety of these natural disease fighters. As an added boost,
most fruits are dessert-worthy in sweetness but low in calories, so you can treat
yourself without worrying about your waistline.
Fruits are full of nutrients to keep multiple body systems healthy and functioning
well, reducing your risk of chronic disease and other health problems.
are bountiful, so you've got a large selection to choose from, including:
forget to include 100% fruit juice as you tally up your intake for the day.
Milk and Milk Products
milk group includes more than the liquid you pour over cereal or into coffee.
To qualify for the milk group, a milk product needs to include calcium. (Products
made from milk that don't include calcium — such as butter — don't count.) Calcium
helps make bones stronger. Other nutrients in milk products include potassium
and vitamin D.
Milk and milk products that include calcium contribute to strong, healthy bones
and can help keep you fit as a fiddle throughout life.
is what's included on the milk menu:
cheeses, such as Swiss and cheddar
cheeses, such as ricotta and cottage cheese
cheeses, such as American
desserts, such as pudding, ice milk, frozen yogurt, ice cream
one drawback to milk is that it can be high in fat, so stick with fat-free or
low-fat products, which offer the nutritional benefits without increasing your
you are lactose intolerant, and milk upsets your belly, be aware that there are
many lactose-free or low-lactose alternatives available.
Down on Fish, Beans, Nuts and Seeds
protein food group is surprisingly broad in terms of selection. Fish, beans, nuts
and seeds provide protein with little or no saturated fats. Other protein choices
include lean meats, poultry and eggs.
group includes all sorts of great nutrients that you need to build a body strong,
including protein, iron, B vitamins, vitamin E, zinc and magnesium. Fish and nuts
also include essential fatty acids, which are good for your heart, so mix up your
food choices to make sure you reap the maximum nutritional benefit.
Protein-rich foods in this group are essential building blocks for bones, muscles,
tissues, red blood cells, and other core body systems.
many choices. Here's just a sampling of tasty options:
such as clams and lobster
fish, such as anchovies and sardines
(also found in tofu)
(and peanut butter)
without the skin
the downside, foods in this group are often high in fat and cholesterol, and sometimes
sodium, which may cancel out the benefits you hope to gain. Always choose lean
cuts of meat and avoid adding unnecessary fats during cooking (such as frying
chicken). Read nutritional labels to make sure there is more good stuff than bad.
are a type of fat. Some oils come from plants; others come from animals. In general,
fats from fish, nuts and vegetable oils are healthier than the fats found in butter,
margarine, shortening and lard. Fats make up the smallest section of MyPyramid,
which means you should consume them in limited amounts. In limited quantities,
monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils can be used for cooking, on salads and
as a spread on whole grain bread.
To lower your risk of heart disease, reduce the foods you eat that contain saturated
fat, trans fats and cholesterol.
a Fit and Prosperous Life!
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