Using the Food Pyramid in the Preparation of Food

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The food pyramid is the basic tool in
identifying the right amount of food to be taken per food category. However,
most people do not follow the dietary guidelines in the food pyramid and just
rely on what they want and what is appealing for them. The food pyramid helps
people in preparing the most balanced meal in order to consume only what are
right for the body and prevent deficiencies and excess. The following discusses
the food groups under the food pyramid and their general uses and benefits to
the body.

Food Pyramid

  1. Water and Beverages
    The base of the pyramid is
    composed of water and beverages, which means that people should consume more
    fluid than any other food groups. The daily average food intake should be 8 to
    10 glasses. Fluids can come from water, juice, and smoothies. Avoid sodas,
    carbonated beverages, alcohol and too much coffee. Fluids help hydrate the
    cells and prevent dehydration during cases of acute illnesses such as diarrhea
    and vomiting.
  2. Carbohydrates
    Carbohydrates are the
    second most abundant food in the diet. Carbohydrates should be 5 to 8 servings
    a day. Carbohydrates can be found in rice, corn, bread, root crops, noodles,
    pasta and other starchy foods. Carbohydrates are the source of energy for the
    body.
  3. Fruits and Vegetables
    Fruits should constitute 2
    to 3 servings while vegetables should be 3 servings a day. Fruits and
    vegetables are required to supply the body with the needed vitamins and
    minerals for cellular health, wound healing and prevention of infections.
  4. Dairy
    Dairy products should
    constitute 1 to 2 serving a day equivalent to one glass of milk. Dairy products
    provide the body with essential minerals and calcium that can be used for
    various body processes.
  5. Proteins
    Proteins are also
    essential in the diet because they serve as the building blocks of muscles and
    cells. People need one to two servings of proteins a day in the form of lean
    pork, beef, chicken, turkey, legumes, nut and others.  The diet needs 1 to 2 servings of proteins in
    a day.
  6. Fats and Oils
    Fats and oils constitute the
    least amount in the diet because the body does not need anything in excess.
    Fats should only constitute one serving a day. Fats can come from butter,
    margarine, and oil. Use unsaturated oils rather than saturated ones, which
    contain a lot of bad cholesterol.

In order to prepare the diet,
consider the serving guide in the food pyramid. Using the food pyramid in the
preparation of foods includes the following benefits:

  • Provides balanced diet– Balanced diet is the end goal of the
    food pyramid. A balanced diet provides the body with the right amount of food
    per category, which is actually needed by the body.
  • Prevents nutritional deficiencies- having a balanced diet
    prevents lack of intake of appropriate nutrients because the recipes ensure
    that all nutrients are covered.

Children, older adults, pregnant
women and lactating mothers benefit from a balanced diet because they are the
ones who need optimum nutrition. Pregnant women are especially benefited
because it prevents poor pregnancy outcomes such as the presence of congenital
disorders such as goldenhar
syndrome
.

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