When it comes to losing weight, “knowing” what to eat is just as important as what you eat. Here’s a great resource. In 2005, the U.S. Government updated its Food Guide Pyramid. They redesigned the pyramid to illustrate how physical activity can be as important as food when it comes to our health.
The pyramid is called MyPyramid because it’s all about healthy lifestyle choices, and not just food and how these need to be personalized depending on the individual. It shows food groups as a series of prioritized food groups. Below is a basic example of the guide:
color/ food groups
orange for grains
green for vegetables
red for fruit
yellow for fats and oils
blue for dairy
purple for meats, beans, and fish
Notice how the groups are arranged to show how much of a daily food intake should be made up of that food group. So the orange group is listed first. Next is green, red, yellow, and so on. They prioritized the pyramid this way to show that people need to eat a lot more grains than fats and oils.
In essence, we are what we eat. What we eat is tied to how much we exercise. So, people who are less active need to eat less food so they can avoid gaining weight. If your eating more of the bottom group, than you are the top group, that is a clear indication of where your problem begins. The MyPyramid is a vital resource for anyone who wants to be happier, healthier, thinner, and enjoy a more fulfilling life.
The MYPyramid food guide promotes the following things:
Eating to live, not living to eat. Eating less is not a curse. A diet is not intended to punish us for something that we did or did not do. Eating is a part of how and why we are alive. However, when left unchecked, and for many reasons, some of which may or may not be our fault, it can become detrimental to our health and well-being. The different color groups in the pyramid tell us that it’s important to eat lots of different foods. Eating a variety of foods provide a good balance of nutrients, and also satisfies our taste buds.
Eating in moderation. The food groups that are at the lower end of the pyramid are there for a reason. It’s a reminder to people that they can eat lots of some foods in each group but that other foods in certain groups should be limited. For instance, foods at the bottom include those with little or no solid fats and little or no added sugars or sweeteners. So in the fruit food group, people should eat whole, fresh apples more often than apple pie. Likewise, when it comes to the grains food group, a person should choose more whole-grain products, such as whole-wheat pasta instead of regular pasta. Another example is in the dairy group, where people should get most of their dairy intake from low-fat milk instead of cream cheese or other high-fat dairy products.
The U.S. Health Department reported that Americans are getting heavier and less healthy. Much of this is because of the luxuries that we are accustomed to like television, computers, and automobiles. We spend more time in front of computer screens and TV sets than getting out and socializing. We’re sitting in cars instead of walking or biking to our destinations.
The government warns about the dangers of a fatter America because of all the health problems overweight people can have. Too much weight is a leading cause of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. So in addition to using the pyramid as a way to remind people to eat right and exercise, the government designed a website, called MyPyramid, to give specific food and exercise guidelines.
The government has made the MyPyramid website a wonderful resource for controlling your weight. You can get personalized recommendations about which foods to eat and how much – including estimates of the number of calories needed to stay at a healthy weight. To create a personal profile that shows what you should eat for your age, gender, and activity level, visit the site at http://www.MyPyramid.gov