Back To The Basics
The Food Guide Pyramid was introduced in the United States in 1992 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of an effort to standardize nutritional recommendations provided by government agencies and national organizations responsible for public education about healthy eating. In 2011, the USDA replaced its food pyramid with MyPlate which gives recommendations on specific amounts and types of foods instead of general categories.
The food pyramid is a nutrition guide that shows the kinds and amounts of foods that people should eat each day.
Foods are arranged according to their contribution to overall daily intake, from most important at the base of the pyramid to least important at the top.
Bread, cereals, rice, and pasta are placed at the bottom because they supply many nutrients (including fiber), relatively few calories, and little fat or sodium—if eaten in moderation.
Fruit juices occupy an intermediate level because they are dense sources of nutrients but sometimes have many calories.
Fats and oils are placed at the top because they are “energy-dense; that is, they’re loaded with calories for their size.”
Every society needs to eat, and every culture has its own idea of what constitutes food and how it should be prepared. Some cultures have a food guide that helps people know what types of foods to eat and in what proportions.
The Food Guide Pyramid also contains graphics illustrating how much of each type of food a person should consume daily, with a strong emphasis on vegetables, fruits, and grains, particularly whole grains.
Let’s Break It Down
Being that there are five tiers to the food pyramid, this balanced week runs Monday through Friday. Leaving Saturday and Sunday up to you!
The great thing about each tier is the variety of options you will be able to choose from. As long as your choices fall within the pyramid, the possibilities are endless. You may even discover new ingredients you have never tried before!
The week will follow the pyramid from the bottom tier and up. Therefore the week should follow this pattern:
Starting from the bottom of the pyramid and moving upward will allow you to ease into the diet, avoiding any shock to your digestive system. Beginning with carbs such as bread, cereals, and potatoes will provide energy to fuel through the days ahead!
All the natural ingredients create a great balance that will aid in weight loss, muscle definition, improved mental health, and more.
So let’s get started!
Time to fuel up for the upcoming week! Are you ready?
We’re starting off with grains. The most common grains include bread, cereals, and potatoes however there are many other options that are also quite popular. Remember, as long as your choice falls within the pyramid!
Here are some ideas:
If you are interested in following the pyramid for weight loss reasons, remember to be fair when considering your options. To avoid gaining any weight, make sure your carbs are naturally sourced, organic and far from being considered junk food. For example, potatoes are okay but, potatoe chips are probably not okay.
TUESDAY- Fruits & Vegtables
It’s Tuesday and you know what that means— fruits and veggies! Fruits and vegtables have many benefits.
Eating fruits and vegetables provides fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help protect your body from disease. Eating fruits and veggies together will give you the most benefits. There is a large array of both fruits and vegtables so you have endless options for the day.
Although many people consider fruits and vegtables snacks, you can make entire meals out of them!
Here are some Ideas
- Glazed Carrots
- Tomato Soup
- Stuffed Peppers
Committing a day to fruits and vegetables supplies the body with an immense amount of nutrients, cleanses the body with antioxidants, and produces energy from natural sugars to fuel you for the next day.
In addition, fruits and veggies may help reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, some cancers, high blood pressure, tooth decay, poor eyesight including cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration. In addition, fruit juice is full of vitamins and minerals.
You are halfway through the week and thriving! It is Wednesday and what does that mean? Time for dairy! Everyone knows dairy is good for the body, but most people do not know all of the wonderful benefits it provides.
Dairy can make bones stronger and prevent osteoporosis, it also may lower bad cholesterol levels which contributes to healthy hearts. Yet another example of how dairy is great for our bodies is that studies show that dairy consumption may reduce acne.
Dairy products provide proteins, calcium minerals, Vitamin D, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, vitamins A and B12.
Here are some ideas:
Feeding on dairy today will help to feed your muscles, making them stronger and healthier. Amongst the many benefits, dairy is sure to benefit you.
THURSDAY- Meat & Poultry
Happy Thursday! Get ready for a change of pace with a day full of meat and poultry.
Meat and Fish should be eaten for the many benefits they provide. Meat and Poultry are necessities in the food pyramid according to The Dietary Guidelines For Americans 2010.
Meat and Fish can be included in a diet for several reasons. The most important reason is that meat supplies protein, which builds muscles, supports organ function, creates hormones and enzymes, improves immune function, has an energy-storing effect (it is metabolized slowly so you feel full longer), strengthens bones/teeth/nails, lubricates joints, helps maintain body temperature control by generating more heat when needed (i.e.: exercise) and supports brain development in infants.
Salmon contains Omega-3 fatty acids which keep heart disease at bay while eliminating inflammation-related pain such as arthritis or joint aches. Eating meat and fish together has been proven to improve your body’s uptake of Iron.
In addition, meat contains all 9 essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. In order for the body to digest meat easily, you should have a small runny egg with it. The yolk is fat-soluble so it will help break down the long strings of protein in meats and make them more digestible. Meat also helps maintain healthy skin and nails since they are largely made up of protein.
In the mood to try something different?
Here are some ideas:
Meat and Fish will be extremely fulfilling and fueling for your body ahead of Friday!
FRIDAY- Fats & Sweets
TGIF, am I right? Congratulations, you have made it through the week and have supplemented your body with a balance of the food pyramid. Well, it is time to enjoy the very top of the pyramid— FATS AND SWEETS!
Okay, I know what you may be thinking… what are the benefits of that?
First of all, focusing on each food group throughout this week has minimized your sugar and fat index. Meats and Poultry helped us ease into Fats and Sweets without shocking our bodies.
Secondly, fats and sweets can supply your body with energy and surprisingly…even a few nutrients along the way.
Some ideas include
- Pot Pie
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