We explain what the food pyramid is, its function, how it was created and which food group each stage represents.
What is the food pyramid?
It is known as the food pyramid, nutritional pyramid, food pyramid or other similar names, for a graphic model of which foods we should consume diary and in what proportions to keep us healthy.
As its name implies, it is a pyramid or triangle segmented into five or six hierarchical links, ordered from the base to the top, in each of which a certain type of food substance is represented. Each step has a different size, to indicate the proportions in which food should be consumed, to maintain a diet that equally satisfies all the body’s needs.
Food pyramids may vary according to the model accepted in each country, especially when they are adapted to the foods present in their diet and gastronomic culture; but generally obey the same nutritional principle as establishes a daily intake of 55% carbohydrates, 30% fat and 15% protein, fiber, vitamins and mineralsas the ideal ratio recommended for humans.
Each of these food groups is usually represented with a specific color, a specific design, or simply noted on its corresponding rung of the pyramid, and often accompanied by the portions that its size represents.
The first nutritional pyramids They were created at the end of the 19th century.but perhaps the best known of all was the one created in the United States by the Department of Agriculture in 1992, and which was later revised and reformulated in 2005 (under the name “My Pyramid: Steps to a healthier life”, i.e. “My pyramid: steps to be healthier”), in order to incorporate the need for physical exercise as part of the daily routine.
There are, of course, alternative versions of this pyramid, adapted to the Mediterranean diet, Arab and Jewish ways of eating, and even a vegan nutritional pyramid. There are also other graphical formats to display the same information, such as the food wheel.
According to the food pyramid, from the Spanish Foundation for Community Nutrition, the suggested proportion of foods would be as follows:
- top of the pyramid. Foods that should be consumed sporadically, that is, not daily, as they are tasty but do not provide any important nutritional content, such as sweets, snacks, fat spreads and sugary drinks.
- second step. Foods that should be consumed occasionally and in moderation, although in greater quantities, as they have essential nutrients and proteins, but also a high fat content. Among them are sausages, red meats, cold cuts and sausages.
- third step. Foods that must be consumed daily in different ways, as they are the body’s main source of energy and protein, but whose abuse brings with it metabolic and nutritional problems. We refer to dairy products (2-3 servings daily) and lean meats, fish, white meats, pulses, nuts and eggs (1-3 servings daily, alternating between them).
- fourth step. Foods recommended for daily consumption, which should be plentiful in our diet. These are vegetables (2-3 servings daily), fruits (3-4 servings daily) and virgin olive oils.
- base of the pyramid. Foods that can be consumed daily, but always depending on the degree of physical exercise and daily activity. The more intense our days are, the more portions we can eat of them, and the less physically intense they are, the fewer portions we should eat. In this stage are whole grain flour bread, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, potatoes, tender vegetables and nuts.
What else, Daily intake of 4-6 glasses of water is recommended.as well as vitamin or nutritional supplements and/or supplements according to the specialized guidance of a nutritionist, if applicable.
Continue with: Food
- “Food Pyramid” on Wikipedia.
- “Health Pyramid” at the Spanish Heart Foundation.
- “The nutritional pyramid: nutrition education” at EFESalud.
- “What is the Food Pyramid?” (video) at 5 Minutes School.