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Food Pyramid

Nutrition strategies, better represented as a food pyramid, are general guidelines to stay healthy by making the right selection of food in diet. Including a variety of food items as well as the right amount of calories in your diet, is the main motto of this diet chart. It also suggests what food group should be consumed in good quantities and what food group should be most avoided.

Why Food Pyramid?

Our body has many requirements to function properly and remain healthy. These requirements cannot be fulfilled from just one food item.  According to the food pyramid prepared by USDA, a person should consume a variety of food items to keep fit.  The cereal food group provides necessary fibres and carbohydrates to regulate digestive system. Milk products are good sources of iron and proteins. The department has regulated the daily servings from different food groups that should be taken by an individual.  A serving means lowest amount of a food item like one glass of milk, one banana, one cup of leafy vegetable, etc.

Following this food chart helps people maintain a healthy lifestyle, and avoid unwanted health hazards.

What instructions should be followed?

As you follow the food guidelines, take the following into consideration-

  • While choosing from fruit group, prefer whole fruit/ fresh juice to the canned or chilled fruit juice.
  • Fibre-rich foods like vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, fruits, etc. should be taken several times a day.
  • Variety of vegetables is suggested per serving as different vegetables provide different nutrients.  Some vegetables provide vitamins and minerals, but not proteins.
  • Milk products like cheese, ice creams, yogurt etc should be taken only in 2-3 servings that too only low fat milk or skimmed milk.
  • One must be quite careful in choosing from non-vegetable food items. Try to avoid high fat meats.
  • The USDA warns against intake of food items rich in fats. It does not recommend use of oil and butter in daily food preparation routine.

Strictly following this food chart, in combination with the right physical activity should provide significant health benefits to any individual.