Food Pyramid And Main Principles Of Healthy Diet

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Proper nutrition is the key to health, strength, and beauty. Even Hippocrates said: ‘Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are sick with.’ A healthy person is most often quite inattentive to what he eats. Ill, people go to pharmacies for expensive drugs, forgetting about such a reliable and constantly acting remedy as food. The statement of Hippocrates is still relevant: ‘Let your food be medicine for you, and medicine – food.’

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Our health, disease prevention, and life expectancy largely depend on proper nutrition based on the data of nutritional science. Healthy eating is an ancient and wise science, its laws are simple: variety, balance, sense of proportion. We eat more than we expend energy, so everyone needs to increase their physical activity in order to be in harmony with themselves and nature. The influence of nutrition on life expectancy and longevity has been experimentally proven. The conditions for longevity were formulated by the ancient: eat less, move more, always be in a good mood. The harm of an unhealthy diet manifests itself gradually. Therefore, often many people relate to the issue of nutrition with insufficient attention and seriousness. Unfortunately, there is still an opinion that eating right means eating delicious food and how much you want.

How often do we underestimate the role of proper nutrition, prepare food in haste, without attaching importance to the selection of products and dishes? Until now, many treated vegetables and fruits as “frivolous” foods. But the food of plant origin contains all the vitamins and minerals necessary for the body, it is low in calories, has an anti-atherosclerotic effect, improves metabolism, and normalizes the activity of the gastrointestinal tract. Back in the early 20th century, scientists decided to divide products into groups depending on how useful they are for the human body. Over the course of many decades, this model has been formed and modified to acquire the final shape, which has received the name – the universal food pyramid. It happened in America in 1992.

Since then, this theory has bypassed the whole world, but each country has developed its own pyramid, which depended on the national characteristics and gastronomic habits of the region. New discoveries in science and medicine over the past decade have also made adjustments to the structure of the food pyramid. The last pyramid was developed by the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of California, Los Angeles. Unfortunately, an independent version of the pyramid, adapted for residents of post-Soviet countries, has not been created.

What is the meaning of the healthy eating pyramid? At the heart of the food pyramid are the healthiest foods on which the diet should be based. Above the main level, there are three more floors, which gradually narrow as the use of foods in the human diet decreases. The foundation of the pyramid, and as a result, the basis for our health are vegetables and fruits. Indeed, it is in vegetables and fruits that the greatest amount of vitamins and microelements is contained. These foods are low in calories and contain an optimal amount of energy. On the second floor of the pyramid, cereals and cereals rich in fiber were settled. It also includes potatoes, durum wheat pasta, and brown rice. Fiber and starches, which are abundant in these foods, contribute to healthy digestion. The third floor contains high protein foods. This category can be divided into two parts. The first is dairy and fermented milk products. The second is animal proteins (meat and eggs), vegetable proteins (legumes), and seafood. The top of the pyramid was headed by the so-called flavoring additives and seasonings: garlic, aromatic herbs, peppers, avocados, olives, nuts. In the previous pyramid, there was also a fifth floor, which included animal fats, butter, and sweets. However, in the new version, these products are completely excluded. The developers of the pyramid have come to a consensus that these products have nothing to do with a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

The basic principle of the pyramid is the rule – daily it is necessary to eat foods from all four floors. However, products from the lower floor (vegetables and fruits) should make up half of the daily ration, the aggregate of products from other sectors of the pyramid will make up the second half (25% – cereals, 20% – milk, meat, fish, 5% – additives). To calculate the servings, the following measures are taken: milk, yogurt -1 cup, medium fruit – 1 piece, bread – 1 slice, cereals, rice, pasta – 90-100 grams, eggs – 2 pieces. Daily it is recommended to eat from 7 to 11 servings of vegetables and fruits. It is desirable that each portion be a different color. Ideally, a daily healthy diet should contain foods of all colors of the rainbow. It is better to start the day with yellow and orange fruits (orange or carrot juice), during lunch it will be useful to eat something green (cabbage, cucumbers), but in the evening, pink or red foods (tomatoes, berries) will be just right. Second-floor foods should make up about a third of your diet (6 to 7 servings daily). Cereals should choose dark colors, they contain fewer carbohydrates, unlike light cereals, and pasta made from durum wheat. The potato should not be abused. Prefer rye bread. Of the protein group products, nutritionists advise paying attention to fish. Of meat products, you should consume lean beef and veal, as well as white meat of chicken and turkey. But sausages, sausages, and semi-finished products are best excluded from the diet. From dairy products – kefir, yogurt, and low-fat cottage cheese. The daily diet should include 1-2 servings (100-150g) of these foods. It is believed that we get the full products from the top of the pyramid by consuming products from the lower floors. Therefore, their consumption must be minimized.

Following the principles of proper nutrition, laid down in the pyramid, we not only provide a full healthy diet but also normalize metabolism, get rid of excess weight. Nutritionists around the world support the principles of the pyramid of healthy eating, creating on its basis diets and weight loss programs. In order to be in shape and at the same time not to suffer from hunger, it is not necessary to go on a diet. If you are not satisfied with your appearance, but you may accidentally gain excess weight, you do not need to eat less. It is enough just to reduce the calorie content while maintaining the same amount of food eaten – to switch from fatty to lighter. The calorie table of foods will help you with this. Do not under any circumstances reduce the frequency of meals. On the contrary, it is recommended to eat more often, but in smaller portions. It would also not hurt to introduce fasting days into the daily routine and engage insufficient physical activity. The main and wholesome diet is a healthy diet, it is the healthiest way to be healthy and look at 100. And in case of need, under no circumstances should you go on a diet without first consulting your doctor because thoughtless starvation or exclusion of certain foods is fraught with impaired liver function, loss of protein, and vitamin deficiency. Sometimes, in order to be healthy, we subject ourselves to such tests, from which, probably, it would be bad for the inquisitors: now we are starving, now we are ‘cleansed’, now we are being treated. Or is it better to stick to the laws of smart eating? And then many problems will be solved at once: appearance, weight, health, and budget. The food should be varied, freshly prepared. Food that is repeatedly warmed up, which has stood in the refrigerator for several days, loses its beneficial properties. Digestion, overcooking food is unacceptable. A burnt crust will harm your health. It is necessary to pay attention to the quality of drinking water.

Reduce the intake of unhealthy foods. These are canned foods, especially meat and fish, smoked meats, hydrogenated fats, mayonnaise, Coca, Fanta and almost all carbonated drinks, many confectionery products. It is also advisable to avoid all salty, refined vegetable oils, sugar, and all products containing it, table vinegar, spices. Finally, it is recommended to limit the use of white bread made from refined flour and polished rice (especially for sick and slightly mobile people).

Fans of all kinds of preservatives, flavors, essences, emulsifiers, sweeteners, carcinogens, hot spices, and canned foods should know that fast food that came from the West with the beautiful name “Fast Food” is not only very harmful to our body but simply catastrophically dangerous and poses a serious threat to our health. Despite the dubious advantages of fast food – the speed of preparation and its special taste – it has a number of undoubted and very serious disadvantages. Our stomach and intestines are simply not accustomed to such foods, fatty and heavy. It is much easier and more useful for our body to eat what our ancestors have eaten for centuries – traditional cereals from various cereals, first courses for lunch, and many of our vegetables and fruits, which carry the least risk of allergies to them. In food outlets with a similar name — like McDonald’s or Kentucky Chicken — literally all the fried foods — sandwiches, hamburgers, french fries, and fried chickens — contain oxidized cholesterol, which helps accelerate the development of atherosclerotic plaques on the walls of blood vessels. In addition, frequent consumption of fast food is fraught with the occurrence of heart disease, allergies, obesity, diabetes, indigestion, and liver upset.

Not without reason, most of the US population is suffering from obesity, because fast food has long been a part of their daily lives as much taken for granted that it is already considered as full-fledged food as home-cooked food.


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