For years, the government has established a chart entitled the food pyramid to create a guide for what Americans need in their daily diets. The pyramid is broken down into different food categories including meats and beans, dairy, grains, oils, fruits, and vegetables. Each category shows a different amount of servings that need to be consumed on a daily basis. The food pyramid has been consistently the same for years until just recently.
A new website created by the United States Government has changed the way we look at the pyramid. It now allows you to customize your choices depending on several different factors. Not everyone requires the same portions of meat or fruits. It depends on your age, sex, and amount of physical activity. For example, a young healthy male who exercises thirty minutes or more per day may not require the same amount of vegetables or grains as an older male who is sedentary. Depending upon the amount of exercise you get, your body needs different nutrients. The new website also provides specific recommendations as to what you can eat in order to meet the requirements.
Because we are all different, the newest food pyramid has been designed to reflect those differences in our dietary needs, dependent upon our habits. With careful planning you can get the recommended amount of foods needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. For meats, chicken, beef, and pork are all common choices as well as fish. All provide good sources of protein. For grains, try whole wheat bread or oatmeal. Just about any fruits are acceptable, but for vegetables foods green in color are highly recommended. As for oils, olive or canola oil are good choices, as well as nuts or seeds which are also rich in natural oils. Experimenting with different foods and servings will help you find the right fit when you see what the food pyramid has advised for you.