The food pyramid is a schematic representation of a healthy diet. There are several different food pyramids, each has its unique characteristics, depending on where and when it originated. Unimeal applies Harvard’s MyPyramid as it is the most updated and improved version of all food pyramids worldwide.
MyPyramid was first introduced in 2005. It was designed to help people make healthy choices in food and emphasize the importance of physical activity. If you want to make your life more balanced and looking for a comprehensive guideline, MyPyramid will be the right choice. The thing is, the main goal of MyPyramid is to show people what’s a balanced lifestyle and how they can achieve it without cutting out food groups or adding too intense daily workouts into their routine.
Let's take a closer look at the MyPyramid and how it can help you improve your life through a combination of physical exercises and balanced eating.
First, physical activity is an important aspect of this particular pyramid. Physical exercises were added to the pyramid because the activity level greatly affects food digestion, the metabolic rate, and the hormonal system.
Second, MyPyramid emphasizes how important it is to consume products from all food groups. MyPyramid is juxtaposed to overly restrictive diets that encourage you to cut out certain food groups or macronutrients (like carbs or fats). According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the founder of the MyPyramid, fad diets are unhealthy and unsustainable. Unless you have a medical condition or a food allergy, your diet should contain all food groups.
MyPyramid divides six main groups of products and gives recommendations on their proportional consumption.
MyPyramid recommends taking approximately 27% of your total daily calories from grains. At least half of them should be whole grains. For example, you can put whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, and barley on your plate.
Vegetables should make up approximately 23% of your total daily calorie intake. Focus on dark green vegetables as they are rich in micronutrients and antioxidants and yellow and orange vegetables rich in B vitamins.
Dairy products should make up approximately 23% of your daily calorie intake. These are milk, butter, yogurt, cheese, and cottage cheese.
You can have 15% of your total daily calorie intake from fruits. Remember, though, that pre-packed fruit juices and dried fruits with added sugar can spike your insulin level and are not as beneficial for your health as fresh fruits.
Approximately 10% of your daily calories should come from high in protein products. MyPyramid recommends you opt for healthy protein sources like lean meats, beans, and tofu.
Approximately 2% of your daily caloric intake should come from oils. These can be olive oil, fish oil (rich in omega-3 fatty acids), oil from nuts, and other plants.
If you want to lose fat and live a healthy life, limit the consumption of highly processed sweets rich in sugar (like candies, cookies, ice cream, chocolate bars, muffins, etc.), alcohol, and other snacks filled with empty calories.
However, if you really need it to feel good, you can afford a piece of your favorite junk food now and then. MyPyramid allows you to treat yourself from time to time because deprivation can harm your motivation and emotional state, and you will need them on your way to the body of your dream.
MyPyramid allows you to eat a balanced diet and enjoy your food without depriving yourself. It also emphasizes the necessity of physical activity as it is crucial for your health and well-being.
Healthy Eating Pyramid. (2008). Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. www.thenutritionsource.org