Following The Food Pyramid To Diet Success

by : k_buchanan32

Many people think that a diet is a hard thing to assemble. What's right for some is not right for others, but to ensure that you are getting all the nutrition, vitamins and minerals that your body needs, while still keeping your caloric intake to a minimum, following the food pyramid can be a great first step in establishing your diet. In this article, we'll discuss the layers of the food pyramid and why they are important to your health.

Vegetables - vegetables are an important part of the diet that is often neglected. Vegetables often contain vitamins and minerals that are crucial to the proper functioning of the human body. For that reason, it is recommended that for those on a 1200 calorie per day diet, 3 servings of vegetables should be consumed. For a 1600 calorie diet, 4 servings are recommended, and for a 2000 calorie diet, 5 servings should be consumed. A serving of vegetables consists of roughly one cup of mostly any vegetable, either raw or cooked. A cup of vegetable juice will also fulfill a serving, as will 2 cups of salad greens.

Fruits - fruits are the other entity in a diet that contains most of the vitamins and minerals your body needs. For a 1200 calorie diet, take 2 servings of fruits per day. For 1600 calorie diets, have 3 servings, and for a 2000 calorie per day diet, 4 servings of fruit are recommended. A cup of chopped fruit or a cup of fruit juice can fulfill one serving of fruit.

Grains - grains represent the base of the food pyramid and consequently one of the most important parts. Servings are measured in ounces, and 4 ounces are recommended for a 1200 calorie diet. 5 ounces should be consumed by those on a 1600 calorie diet, and 6 should be eaten by those on a 2000 calorie diet. A half cup of cooked rice, pasta or cereal count as an ounce of grain, as well as one slice of bread, a small muffin, and a cup of cereal.

Dairy - dairy is near the top of the pyramid, and is measured in cups. 2 cups fulfill the dietary needs of someone on a 1200 calorie per day budget, and 3 cups are recommended for both 1600 calorie diets and 2000 calorie diets. A cup of milk or yogurt satisfy a cup of dairy, as well as 1.5 ounces of natural cheese or 2 ounces of processed cheese, such as American cheese.

Meats - This part of the food pyramid ensures that the body gets enough protein to fulfill its need for building muscles and various other cells. 3 ounces of meat satisfy a 1200 calorie diet, 5 ounces constitute the proper amount for a 1600 calorie diet, and 6 ounces should be taken in by those on a 2000 calorie per day diet. An ounce of lean beef, chicken, or fish all count for one ounce serving, as well as an egg, ? cup of dry beans, a ? ounce of nuts, or a tablespoon of peanut butter.

Fats/oils - The top of the pyramid, fats and oils should be used as sparingly as possible in your diet. The important thing to consider with fats and oils is to ensure that your total intake of calories from this type of food represents between twenty and thirty-five percent.