The Healthy Eating Pyramid sits on a foundation of daily exercise and weight control because these elements affect what you eat and how food affects you.
The other bricks include:
- Whole grain foods (at most meals)- the best source of carbohydrates are whole grains such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread and brown rice. Your body can’t digest whole grains as quickly as it can high processed carbohydrates like white flour which helps to keep your blood sugar stable and your hunger at bay.
- Plant Oils- Note that this category contains plant oils specifically, not all types of fat. These healthy fats can improve cholesterol levels and protect the heart from sudden and potentially deadly rhythm problems. Good sources of healthy unsaturated fats include olive, canola, soy, corn, sunflower, peanut, and other vegetable oils as well as fatty fish such as salmon.
- Vegetables (in abundance) and Fruit (2-3 times a day)- a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can decrease the chances of having a heart attack or stroke, protect against a variety of cancers, lower blood pressure, add variety to your diet, and wake up your palate.
- Fish, Poultry, and Eggs (0-2 times a day)- These are important sources of protein and there have been studies to suggest that eating fish can reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Nuts and Legumes (1- 3 times a day) Nuts and legumes are an excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Legumes include black beans, navy beans, garbanzos, and other beans. Nuts contain healthy fat and are good for your heart.
- Dairy or Calcium Supplement (1 – 2 times a day)- Building and maintaining bone mass takes calcium, vitamin D, and exercise. Try to stick to low or no fat dairy products and if you don’t like dairy products, calcium supplements offer an easy way to get your daily calcium.
- Red Meat and Butter (Use Sparingly)- These sit at the top of the pyramid because they contain a lot of saturated fat. If you eat red meat every day try switching to fish or chicken several times a week.
- White Rice, White Bread, Potatoes, White Pasta, Soda, and Sweets (Use Sparingly)- These foods can cause fast increases in blood sugar, which can lead to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic disorders.
- Muti-Vitamin- A daily multivitamin can’t replace healthy eating or make up for unhealthy eating but it can fill nutritional holes that can affect even the most careful eaters. Look for one that meets USP (US Pharmacopeia, an organization that sets standards for drugs and supplements) requirements.
- Alcohol (in moderation)- Studies suggest that having an alcoholic drink a day lowers the risk of heart disease. Moderation is important and for most people one drink a day is just about right.
Let's start practice our daily meals with this Healthy Eating Pyramid ! Isn't it a Good Idea ???