- Food Guide Pyramid:-
Food guides as the food guide pyramid (USDA) are tools used for teaching complex scientific information in a consumer friendly way. The governments use pictures and graphs to communicate dietary guidance messages.
The food pyramid guide gives a simple and complete message to what one needs to eat in a day. It advocates balance of nutrients and reduction of fat. It provides guidance to improving overall health and weight management. Foods are divided into five distinct “food groups” and eating a given number of servings from each group is recommended. The base of pyramid is bread, cereal, rice and pasta group. It is the base so the biggest. The next step up is the vegetable and fruit group which provides vitamin A, ascorbic acid, folate, and fiber as well as potassium. This is the second biggest group. Next comes milk, yogurt, and cheese group which provides calcium, protein, vitamin A and D. Along with milk group is the meat, fish dry beans, eggs and nuts group. This group provides iron, zinc, B vitamins and proteins. The tip of the pyramid is fats, oils, and sweets. These foods need to be consumed sparingly as they are source of calories with almost no other nutrients. Each of the food groups provide some of the nutrients, but not all the nutrients required by the body. Foods found in one group cannot replace foods in another group. All the five groups are important in order to make the diet balanced.
Using Food Guide Pyramid:-
- Choose the number of servings required. The pyramid gives a range of servings and the number of servings required by an individual depends on the number of Calories required. Everyone should make an effort to take at least the minimum servings each group.
- The amount that counts as serving is given below:
1 slice of bread, 1 ounce of read-to-eat cereal, 1& ½ cup of cooked cereal, rice or pasta.
- 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables; 1& 1/2 cup of other vegetables; cooked or chopped raw vegetables; ¾ cup of vegetable juice.
- 1& ½ cup of chopped, cooked, or canned fruit; 1&3/4 cup of fruit juice.
- 1 cup of milk or yogurt 1-1&1/2 ounces of natural cheese; 1 2 ounces of processes cheese.
- Include plant foods that are good sources of protein such as beans, legumes and nuts several times a week.
- Include a dark green leafy vegetable as a source of vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C such as citrus fruit daily.
- Include milk and products to provide calcium.
- Choose whole grain cereals, breads, and rice as they are good source of fiber and vitamin E.
- Include some plant oils daily and fish once or twice a week to include unsaturated fatty acids in the diet.