This is the Healthy Eating Pyramid designed by expert nutritionists from the Harvard School of Public Health (Harvard School of Public Health). The pyramid is based on the best scientific evidence available for the connection of diet and health. This pyramid is a guide on what and how to eat for better health.
Healthy Eating Pyramid is based on the foundation of daily exercise and weight control. Why? These two related elements strongly influence your chances of staying healthy. They also affect what and how we eat and how food affects us in general. Other blocks in the pyramid of healthy eating include:
- Whole Grain Foods (at most meals). The body needs carbohydrates mainly for energy. The best sources of carbohydrates are whole oats, whole wheat flour and brown rice. The body cannot digest whole grains as quickly as t processes carbohydrates like white flour. This keeps blood sugar and insulin levels from rising, then falling too quickly. Better control of blood sugar and insulin can keep hunger at bay and prevent the development of diabetes, type 2.
- Vegetable oils. Good sources of healthy unsaturated fats include olive, soybean, corn, sunflower, peanut, and other vegetable oils and fatty fish like salmon. These healthy fats not only improve cholesterol levels in the blood (when eaten in place of highly processed carbohydrates) but can also protect the heart from sudden and potentially deadly rhythm problems.
- Vegetables (in abundance) and fruits (2-3 times daily). Diet rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke, protects against various types of cancer, lower blood pressure, prevented the occurrence of hemorrhoids, protect against cataracts and macular degeneration, a major cause of vision loss in people over age 65, etc.
- Fish, poultry and eggs (0 to 2 times). These are important sources of protein. Numerous scientific studies suggest that eating fish can reduce the risk of heart disease. Chicken and turkey are also good sources of protein and can be low in saturated fat. Eggs, which have long been criticized because they contain a lot of cholesterol, are not as bad as you think. In fact, an egg is much better breakfast than a donut cooked in an oil rich in trans fats or a bagel made from refined flour.
- Nuts and Legumes (1 to 3 times). Nuts and legumes are excellent sources of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Many species of nuts contain healthy fats (almonds, walnuts, peanuts, hazelnuts and pistachios) are good for the heart.
- Dairy products or Calcium Supplement (1-2 times). Building bone and keeping it strong takes calcium, vitamin D, exercise and more. Dairy products are a major source of calcium. But other than milk and cheese, which can contain a lot of saturated fat, there are other healthy ways to get calcium. Three glasses of whole milk, for example, contains as much saturated fat as 13 strips of cooked bacon. If you enjoy dairy foods, try to choose products without being fat or low-fat. If you do not like dairy products, calcium supplements offer an easy and inexpensive way to get your daily calcium.
- Red Meat and Butter (Use Sparingly diet): These are the top of the Healthy Eating Pyramid because they contain lots of saturated fat. If you eat red meat every day, switching to fish or chicken several times a week can improve cholesterol levels in the blood. So can switching from butter to olive oil.
- White rice, white bread, potatoes, white pasta, soda and cookies (Use less): These foods may cause rapid and excessive increase in blood sugar that can lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other chronic disorders. Whole-grain carbohydrates cause slower, steadier increases in blood sugar that do not overwhelm the body’s ability to handle this much needed but potentially dangerous nutrient.
- Multivitamins: A daily supplement of multivitamin and multimineral offers a kind of nutritional backup. While it in no way can be a substitute for healthy diet or compensation for unhealthy eating, it can fill in the nutrient gaps that may sometimes affect even the most careful eaters. You do not need an expensive brand of vitamin supplements.
- Alcohol (in moderation): Scores of studies suggest that moderate alcohol consumption per day reduces the risk of heart disease. Moderation is very important, since alcohol has risks as well as benefits. For men, a good balance point is 1 to 2 drinks per day and women no more than one drink per day, however, the risks of drinking, even when it is moderate, the precedence benefits until middle age.