The Food Guide Pyramid is the recommendations on how much should a person eat from the different food groups, offered by the USDA, based on the 2005 Dietary Recommendations for Americans. This is represented by a triangular structure, where each food group is represented in the form of consumption. Over the years, the food guide pyramid has changed in terms of the way it is now represented and the terms used in the process. The nature of the food guide pyramid has changed tremendously over the years, with the recent structure of the food guide pyramid has become much more interactive and informative.
Groups of Food Pyramid
The food guide pyramid till the year 2005 was simply a pyramid structure representing the different groups. These groups were divided in the following way.
- The base: bread, cereal, rice and pasta group
- Vegetable group and the fruit group, at the next level,
- Milk, yogurt and cheese group, on one hand, and the Meat, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts group, at the next level.
- Fats, oil and sweets (at the top).
Thus, the food guide pyramid was divided into the form of servings for each group. But this changed when the new food pyramid was introduced in the year 2005. This was different from the former, in the sense that it was much more interactive and informative. It was introduced not only as a model but there are proper guidelines and online tools for the correct interpretation of the food pyramid. As a guide, the food pyramid not only helps you to choose and plan your diet, but it also enables you to shop wisely, based on the recommendations from the Government. Off course, there are several factors affecting your food intake, with some of them being age, gender, weight, height, stress factors, physical health and existing conditions, diseases and complications, if any. But one of the most important factors in the process is the physical activity that a person engages in throughout the day. While this is measured in terms of time, it must be exclusive of the routine activities, however much they are physically strenuous.
Benefits of Food Guide Pyramid
The new food guide pyramid enables an individual to assess his or her food intake and physical activity as well. This is helpful and the stress on physical activity is a fresh change from the earlier food pyramid structure. The new food guide pyramid also offers several external sources of information such as specific health food guides during pregnancy and breastfeeding, weight loss and for children, among others. However, at the same time, to what extent is the new food guide pyramid followed by people, in general, It also remains to be seen to what extent are the online tools of MyPyramid Tracker accurate. For it is imperative that any food plan must also take into account also other factors such as lifestyle conditions, stress factors, preexisting physical conditions and diseases, among others. No wonder there have been introductions of different models, for instance, the one put forth by the Harvard School of Public Heath.
Read also: Food Pyramid Tracker: About and Benefits