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What Should I Eat: The Guidelines - Part 2

March 28, 2012

In a previous post, we explained how you can maintain a healthy diet by following the Healthy Eating Plate. Today, we will talk about the Healthy Eating Pyramid.

The Healthy Eating Pyramid

heart healthy pyramidSimilar to the Healthy Eating Plate, the Healthy Eating Pyramid was also created by the Department of Nutrition of the Harvard School of Public Health. Shaped in the form of a pyramid, it is hierarchical representation of the healthfulness of various types of food. The pyramid is divided into five levels, with the top representing foods that you should eat sparingly and the bottom showing the lifestyle and diet that lead to good health.

The uppermost level of the pyramid contains an illustration of foods that are considered unhealthy. These foods include red meat, processed meat, refined grains, salt, butter, potatoes, sweets, and sugary beverages, and they should be consumed in minimal amounts. At the second highest level, you will find foods that you should eat in moderation, such as dairy products, and vitamin D and calcium supplements. It is recommended that you consume one to two servings of dairy products a day.

Foods at the third level consist of fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, beans, seeds, and tofu. These are heart healthy foods, and they should make up a significant part of your diet. The second level from the bottom shows the healthiest foods, which include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats and oils. These are foods that you should eat the most. At the bottommost level, there are illustrations depicting exercise, weight control, and a healthy meal. This means that you have to exercise regularly, watch your weight, and eat healthy to achieve optimal health.

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