The food pyramid revealed by Harvard School of Public Health was intended to guide people on how to stick with healthy eating habits. This pyramid tells people what to eat, how much to eat, and when to eat it in order to live a healthy life. To follow a healthy diet, you don’t really need the support of a nutritionist. All you have to do is follow this simple food pyramid and you can lead a healthier, happier life.
A Quick Introduction to the Harvard Food Pyramid
The food pyramid isn’t intended to help you reduce weight. It focuses on the ways to enjoy a healthy balanced diet that can keep you away from food related ailments and malfunctioning of your internal organs. The food pyramid does not depend on recommendations about serving sizes or exact quantities of different types of food. Instead, it suggests that you to eat only healthy foods that will keep you fit. The food pyramid provides you with a source of all the essential nutrients required for your body.
Four Levels of the Harvard Food Pyramid
The pyramid, as recommended by Harvard School of Public Health, contains four different levels which are explained in a bottom-up approach:
· Level 4 – This bottom-most level contains food items like vegetables and fruits, healthy oils and whole grains. Whole grain-related foods and cereals can also be included at this level. If you are fond of eating noodles made of whole grains and pasta every day, then you can add them into this level.
Two to three servings are recommended for level 4 food items of this food pyramid, if they are vegetables and fruits. You may add 2-4 teaspoons of oil to foodstuffs at this level. Another options is to eat a handful of nuts 3 times in a day.
· Level 3 – Level 3 of the food pyramid consists of nuts, beans, lentils and diary products like tofu, cottage and plain cheese. This level also contains food items like white meat that are rich in protein like chicken, fish, and poultry.
The food pyramid suggests that you consume only 2 servings of these level three food items in your daily dietary intake. A moderate amount of protein is recommended because it increases the nitrogenous breakdown products and leads to a build up of bad cholesterol in your blood.
· Level 2 – This level of the food pyramid contains other dairy products that are fresh and fat-free, like low fat milk, yoghurt and other calcium supplements in your food.
At this level, eggs can also be included and must be consumed less frequently than items in the other 2 levels. The more you eat of these foods everyday, the higher your risk of developing ailments and health disorders.
· Level 1 – The highest level of the food pyramid contains foodstuffs that you must avoid. But this does not mean you must totally eliminate them from your diet permanently. It’s okay to eat them once a week or so. Foods that are rich in carbohydrates fall under this category as do red meat, white rice and potatoes.
The above recommendations of the Harvard food pyramid are applicable only to adults, because children have a different set of dietary requirements. Adherence to these guidelines of the food pyramid can enhance your health and ensure that you have a healthy, balanced dietary intake every day.
For more about healthy eating, check out Charlene Carter’s new book, “Superfoods 101” here: