The Food Guide Pyramid was far from a perfect model for healthy eating, but it did have some strengths. The U.S. Department of Agriculture introduced the pyramid graphic in 1992 after performing extensive consumer research on eating patterns and knowledge. The pyramid was then revamped in 2005 and replaced by a plate model in 2011, but many of its original advantages hold true in those updated models.
The Food Guide Pyramid emphasized the importance of eating a balanced, varied diet by depicting five main food groups: grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products and other proteins, including meat, fish, beans, nuts and eggs. Included with each food group were recommended servings per day, which communicated the idea that it’s healthy to eat a variety of foods daily rather than getting most of your calories from just one or two of the groups.
The tip of the Food Guide Pyramid depicted fats, oils and sweets and recommended limiting them to 100 to 300 of your total daily calories. Although some fats, such as olive oil, have proven benefits for cardiovascular health, many Americans do eat unhealthier fats and sweets in excess, both of which can negatively affect heart health. In that regard, the recommendation to limit fats and sweets was valid.
Easy to Understand
Harvard School of Public Health’s nutrition researchers are quick to point out flaws in the Food Guide Pyramid, but they admit that the pyramid shape had a tremendous benefit in being clear and easy to understand. By using a pyramid, the USDA was able to immediately imply that foods near the bottom of the pyramid were “good” and should be major fixtures of most people’s diets, and foods nearer the tip of the pyramid were “bad” and should be limited or avoided.
The Food Guide Pyramid appealed to people’s visual interest by showing examples of foods that might be healthy choices from each main group. Although not all depictions were of equally healthy foods, many items shown were significant sources of essential vitamins and minerals. Some of the healthiest foods shown were whole-grain bread, milk, eggs, fish, nuts, beans, fresh fruits like apples and oranges, and fresh vegetables like broccoli and leafy greens. Seeing examples of what you “should” be eating helped you think about healthy meal planning and what to pick when you had more than one option.
About the Author
Carly Schuna is a Wisconsin-based professional writer, editor and copy editor/proofreader. She has worked with hundreds of pieces of fiction, nonfiction, children's literature, feature stories and corporate content. Her expertise on food, cooking, nutrition and fitness information comes from a Level 1 personal training certification and years of in-depth study.
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Essay about Healthy Eating
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The Benefits and Roles on the Body
Over time sitting and eating at the table with family has slowly drifted away. Now with all the new restaurants popping up everywhere he or she turns, who has time to stop and eat healthy? While most people do not take time for themselves, one must take time out for their bodies. Healthy eating is the number one priority when it comes to having a healthy body. Though not everyone may eat healthy, healthy eating contributes to weight loss, better performance, improves body health, reduces risk of illnesses, and lowers health care cost. If the want is there, be assured that the benefits of eating healthy are abundant. To understand the factors of obtaining a healthy eating habit,…show more content…
That is a amount of foods during the day. This brings one to the beginning of the day.
Starting the day off right, by eating healthy is essential to our bodies. This brings up the most important meal of the day, breakfast! As most people wake up every morning in a frantic rush out of the house they just do not seem to stop and give their bodies what it needs. Nutrition, this is vital to ones’ body health. Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day. Not only will breakfast give one the needed energy to start the day, having breakfast can give many different health benefits. The right breakfast foods can improve concentration, give people strength, and even help maintain a healthy weight (Zelman, 2007). Eating a healthy breakfast showed to improve concentration and performance in the workplace and classroom. Along with the energy boost he or she gets, their body has more strength and endurance to do those many physical activities they hurdle at work and home. Healthy eating starts when people wake up, and with a balanced breakfast, their body will start to maximize the benefits of eating healthy.
For the body to maximize all of the energy and performance benefits, one must also follow the ‘Food Pyramid’. The food pyramid started in 1992, and changed in 1995. The old pyramid had everyone placed with the same number of servings depending on calorie intake. The old food pyramid for obtaining the proper daily allowances now has modified for