In order to enhance health, the Food Guide Pyramid can help you by showing which foods should be consumed in abundance and which should be consumed in limited amounts. The base of the pyramid includes items such as fruits, vegetables and grains and suggests that these should be the basis for any meal. The Pyramid also details how foods with fat should be a part of the diet but in a limited quantity. The same is true for beans and meat.
A question that often comes to the minds of people who are looking to eat a healthy diet is what is the actual meaning of ‘portion size.’ This is something that cannot be exactly defined and it depends on your gender, how much activity you do, and how old you are. There are some basic guidelines however that should help you find the right size of serving for you.
Smaller portion sizes should be consumed by children, older adults and women who are less active. This generally means they should be having servings of about 2.5 ounces in the meat and poultry group and have two of these servings per day.
For older children, active women, teenage girls, as well as the majority of men, they should be consuming around six ounces total, spread over two servings. It is teenage boys and physically active men who should be consuming the highest number of servings, they should be eating about three, which equates to around seven ounces in this food group.
The group that involves yoghurt, milk and cheese is an exception to the above guidelines and how much you eat will directly depend on your age. Children who are between nine and 18 years old should eat three servings of this per day, as should adults who are over the age of 50.
Two servings a day is essential for everyone, but three is the recommended amount. If you are pregnant there is no need to increase the amount of milk you are consuming as your needs for this type of food do not increase. For feeding a child who is under two years old, you should consult your doctor for more specific advice.
For those who base their diet on the Food Pyramid, they are going to be consuming fat in their diet, which is essential, and healthy, if it is consumed in moderation. Fats are an essential part of our diet as they provide fatty acid which can help dissolve essential vitamins so they can be absorbed by the body.
Fat are also important in increasing the flavour of food as it makes food rich. If you tried to eat baked goods that did not have any fat in them, you would find very dry and unpalatable. It is important to remember that fat should always be consumed in moderation, foods that are high in saturated fats can cause high blood cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease.
One of the best ways to get information about the food you are consuming is to look at the labelling. Modern labels are very clear and they tell you exactly what the food contains, and often offer a guide about how good or bad it is for you.
The label will contain information about how many calories each serving contains and this can give you an idea of how close you are to meeting your calorie target for the day. The label also gives information about the fat content, remember it will not harm your body if you do not consume your total recommended amount of fat per day. Vitamins are also found in many foods and information about the vitamin content, and how much of your daily allowance the food provides, can be found on the information label. It is essential to remember that the content of food can change, so occasionally check the labelling on the food to make sure that it is still as good for you as it was before.