What is the Healthy Food Pyramid?

 

Here's a new twist on an old food pyramid!

Ray Kurzwell and Terry Grossman, authors of “Fantastic Voyage” and “Transcend,” respectively, have offered a new healthy food pyramid. This one is mostly plant-based and is designed to help people understand portion sizes and foods to include in a healthful eating pattern.

Take a look!

How Can This Pyramid Help Your Clients?

This version of the pyramid highlights which food groups to include in a healthy diet, along with suggested serving sizes from each group. With this model, a primarily plant-based eating pattern that includes lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and limited amounts of healthy fats is advised. Risk of chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes and heart disease may be mitigated in individuals who follow the healthy food pyramid guidelines.

5 Main Food Groups:

Macronutrients that make up the natural food stores in the body include carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

The healthy food pyramid represents five food groups that are associated with these three natural stores. These groups include vegetables to provide carbohydrate, vitamins, and minerals, lean animal proteins and low-fat dairy to provide amino acids, vitamins, minerals, good bacteria and essential fatty acids, and low glycemic index carbohydrates for fiber and carbohydrates. In addition, fruits, nuts and healthy fats provide vitamins, minerals, good bacteria and essential fatty acids and red meat and eggs provide amino acids, vitamins, minerals and fats.

How the Healthy Food Pyramid and the Food Guide Pyramid Differ:

The healthy food pyramid differs from the traditional food guide pyramid in a few ways. For one, its base is vegetables, versus carbohydrates. Secondly, there is more emphasis on quality of foods than quality. Low glycemic index carbohydrates are encouraged over total number. In addition, lean protein sources and low-fat dairy is advised while red meat is suggested in limited amounts. Fruits, nuts and healthy fats such as avocados are encouraged.

It should be noted that the Food Guide Pyramid was replaced by MyPlate in 2011.

Are you intrigued? Don't miss the second installment of this series Using the Healthy Food Pyramid: A Guide!

By Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD

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