Recently, the nutritional food guide pyramid was revised. The revision, completed by the United States Department of Agriculture included new dietary guidelines to achieve a healthy, balanced diet
The pyramid is geared especially towards proper nutrition for children. It focuses on larger amounts of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. In addition, the pyramid stresses the importance of exercise on a regular basis to improve childrens’ health.
On the pyramid there are six color coded categories for each food group:
• Orange: Grains • Green: Vegetables • Red: Fruits • Blue: Dairy and calcium-rich foods • Purple: Proteins (meats, beans, and fish) • Yellow: Fats and oils
Here is a bit of information from each food group:
Grains: The grains group, which includes foods like bread, cereal, rice, and pasta.
These foods are high in complex carbohydrates, which are the body's fuel. Grains also provide other important nutrients such as vitamin B-complex (folate), which helps your body use the protein needed to build muscle.
Vegetables: Vegetables provide many of the vitamins and minerals needed for good health, and they provide fiber to aid digestion.
Fruits: Fruits are especially good sources of important vitamins like A and C. This food group also adds minerals such as potassium and fiber, which help digestion. It is best to eat fruits raw.
Dairy: The dairy group includes milk, eggs, cheese, yogurt, and is an excellent source of vitamins A and D. Diary products help strengthen bones and teeth as well as strengthening muscle and nerve functions.
Proteins: Proteins include meats, beans, and fish. These all contain vitamin B and iron to help bones grow strong and support muscles.
Fats, oils, and sweets: This group is essential to maintain body function and provide nutrition, but should be used sparingly.
It is important to keep in mind that the serving sizes are a guideline and can differ day to day. In addition, always keep in mind that moderation is key to a healthy diet and the nutritional values of food can vary depending on how the food is prepared.