What is a Food Pyramid?
You have probably seen a food pyramid or a food guide pyramid before, but not everyone knows what a food pyramid is. In simple words you could say that a food pyramid is suppose to represent what we should eat on daily or weekly basis, based on a dietary guideline or nutrition guideline. Yes, there are different dietary guidelines for different countries, health conditions, allergies, etc.
Now, with all types of nutrition guidelines out there, you will find many different food pyramids. There is not only the USDA food pyramid, but also the vegan food pyramid, the vegetarian food pyramid, the Mediterranean food pyramid and a few other food pyramids that you can actually find throughout our website. There is even a food pyramid for kids, which was pushed a lot by the USDA, but also other organizations.
What all food guide pyramids have in common, besides representing certain dietary guidelines, is that they all have food groups. Each food group is often represented by blocks within a food pyramid image, starting with what you should it most of at the bottom. Often, you will also see how much of each food group to consume. A healthy food pyramid will include everything about the food guide it is trying to represent.
So any nutrition guideline can be illustrated by using a food pyramid. However, the most popular one is the one that the USDA have been promoting to represent the "Dietary Guidelines for Americans". Those guidelines come out every five years, and have in the past been represented by the popular "MyPyramid" and "The Food Guide Pyramid"
There are also alternatives to the food pyramid in which the dietary guidelines are represented by a food circle, food chart or even a plate model.
Several countries use a food circle or the plate model, and the most popular one is used by the USDA. They shifted the use from a food pyramid to colorful plate model. The campaign goes under “Choose MyPlate”, which can be found on ChooseMyPlate.gov. In the plate model, MyPlate, you can see the food groups divided in the plate, but it does not state how much of each food group to consume.
FoodPyramid.com understands the importance of nutrition, but also sees the great benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. Using a food pyramid as a tool to follow different dietary guidelines is a good start in the right direction. If a food pyramid does not serve you well in your quest for a healthier lifestyle, you can always turn to the plate model; now used by the USDA. As we mentioned earlier, it goes under the name MyPlate and serves well as a guide for food and human nutrition.
If you choose MyPlate, the food pyramid, or any other tools to aid you through the process of better understanding what a nutritious meal consist of, then you are really trying to take care of yourself. After all, the human body is like a super engine, which needs the right fuel and maintenance to reach optimal levels. We, as individuals, serve both as the “driver” and the “mechanic” of our body, and only several years down the road will we see the results of our “job”.
But it is not only about your eating habits that contributes to a healthy lifestyle. Since you are the “driver” of your own body, you also need to be moving your body. Exercising is a healthy and very natural thing to do. For some people it could be a challenge to start exercising, but remember that there are a vast number of exercises you can do. No matter if it is walking, running, aerobics, or any other thing that puts your body in motion, there is always something for everyone. Just try to work on your fitness level the best you can and you will likely feel much better.
So we have talked about the importance of nutrition and fitness. They may function as two of the cornerstones in keeping a healthy lifestyle, but what more is there to it? Is it not just enough to follow a diet using the food pyramid and maybe hit the gym a few times a week? What about other aspects in our life like mental and spiritual health? Do such things affect our overall well-being?
Food Pyramid thinks that to feel more complete other elements must be added. A healthy living lifestyle is much more than just focusing on nutrition and fitness. Those are just two of the elements that contributes to healthy living, but let us explain further what we like to include.
So what is healthy living? We would like to say that healthy living is to enhance and make positive changes in your overall health. This would include healthy eating, physical health, but also mental and spiritual health. By feeding all those things with positive changes will boost your life in many ways. It can help in preventing chronic disease and reduce the risk of becoming ill. You will probably also feel more happy and satisfied with your life, and who knows...you might even inspire people around you to make positive changes in their lives.
We understand that our environment can affect us in many ways, but the path to healthy living is a personal choice and everyone has a role to play. You just need to keep yourself informed about positive health practices that will improve your overall well-being. Try also to create your own circle of social contacts an make friends with people who respect and care for you as that will help you a lot in life.
With mental and spiritual health we like to emphasize on the connection between body, mind and spirit. As much as your body needs to exercise so does your mind. Yo can engage your brain in different exercises, which will stimulate different parts of your brain. Try for example to read a book, play a game of chess, engage in multitasking exercises or even solve a Sudoku puzzle. Some other things that will also help in the connection between body mind and spirit would be relaxation, massage, and listening to music.
Spirituality may mean different things to different people. Your “spirit” may refer to the inner part of you that tries to make an understanding of the meaning of life, which usually points to happiness and peace. This can be reached in many ways because we have different desires and beliefs. Some will find fulfillment in volunteering, pursuing a passion, or even go for a walk on the beach. What may sound strange for one person could be another person's happiness. There are however ways to guide you in finding what your “spirit” needs. You could always start with taking some time for yourself and just be. Try to be present and observe what is now. Furthermore, you can always meditate, work on positive thinking, affirmations, and much more.
Now that we have covered what it actually means to live healthy, do you feel more inspired? Take action and put an end to negative lifestyle practices.
Healthy living is a topic that we at Food Pyramid have a passion for. If you are just in search for information on different health topics or if you are in search for inspiration, it is likely you will find it here on the Food Pyramid website.
As much as we like to be a resource for different health topics, we also like to see the site as a source of empowerment for those who like to make positive changes towards a healthier lifestyle.