The food pyramid has been revamped in the year 2005 by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and it no longer looks like the older version with pictures of food arranged on a pyramid. The new food pyramid is color coded so that one can identify each food group easily. You can consult the food pyramid if you feel that you aren’t consuming a nutritious and well-balanced diet.
In order to use this pyramid, you will have to follow five steps and these are given below:
Step 1: If you are to follow the food pyramid then you should first understand what the colors stands for. There are a total of six colors featured in the pyramid. The orange stripe is for grains, the green for vegetables, the red for fruits, a thin yellow stripe for oils, a blue stripe for milk and lastly, a purple or blue stripe for meat and beans.
Step 2: Before you consult your food pyramid you need to measure out serving sizes first. There are a lot of recommendations given by the USDA pertaining to the number of servings one should consume every day. Researching is the key here. Generally, examples of a single serving includes a cup of milk, half ounces of nuts, an ounce of meat, a cup of cereal and a slice of bread.
Step 3: The next step that you need to take is to consume healthier food in each of the food groups present in the food pyramid. One thing that you have to realize about the pyramid is that all foods in the food groups aren’t created equal. Thus, you need to find out more about the food groups corresponding to the different colors on the pyramid. For example, in case of the grains group or the orange portion of the pyramid, it is advisable to go for whole grains instead of refined grains.
Step 4: Don’t forget to take discretionary calories into account. The new food pyramid allows all individuals 100-300 calories everyday to use at their discretion unlike the old pyramid which allotted the same to sweets and fats in moderation. You can use these discretionary calories as per your wish on sweeteners, high calorie foods, fats, sodas, alcohol, sweets, etc. Alternatively, you can also consume a higher amount of food from a food group than the recommended level.
Step 5: Since you are planning to follow the food pyramid therefore you must exercise since that element is present in the pyramid too. A runner is seen climbing up the side of the new pyramid. This image has been incorporated into the pyramid for the purpose of reminding people that exercising everyday is important. The USDA officially reminds people to engage in a minimum of thirty minutes workout on a daily basis.
Many people are fans of the new food pyramid because they feel that it is more user-friendly and accurate. This pyramid informs you about the ideal amounts or servings of each food group that you need in order to ensure that you provide your body with a stable and steady supply of nutrients and energy.
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