Healthy Eating Pyramid: What you need to know!
How healthy is your diet and eating habits? What does eating healthy mean? Everyone has different answers and you probably change yours every now and then.
You might hear many times that your eating habits have a huge impact on your health and well-being. However, you are in a world where you can easily get misleading information telling you what’s healthy for you. But how can you know which is true? What should you do if there’s no standard?
Fortunately, there is a nutrition guide – Healthy Eating Pyramid (alternately, healthy eating plate), has been developed by the Harvard School of Public Health for decades. In 2013, The Australian Nutrition Foundation released a new simple visual food pyramid that aims to make Australians eat easier and better! (The following picture is the 3rd edition in 2015)
© Copyright The Australian Nutrition Foundation Inc
Let’s take a close look at this Healthy Eating Pyramid. Nutrition Australia has clearly defined the food groups in each layer on the picture:
– Foundation layers
The two bottom layers are filled up with three plant-based food groups ‘Vegetables and Legumes’, ‘Fruits’ and ‘Grains’. Plant foods are rich in a wide variety of nutrients and provide the main sources of fibre and carbohydrates. The recommended intake is a 70% portion of our diet.
– The middle layer
Including two food groups: ‘Milk, Yoghurt, Cheese and Alternatives’ and ‘Lean Meat, Poultry, Fish, Eggs, Nuts, Seeds and Legumes’. Eating moderately from this layer’s food groups can provide us protein, calcium, iron, zinc and B12 vitamins. However, we often over-consume them.
– The top layer
It’s the smallest layer of ‘Healthy Fats’ food group. Consuming only small amounts every day can support heart health and brain function. The term ‘Healthy Fats’ means we should choose wisely, for examples olive oil, nut and seed oils but avoiding trans fats.
Additional messages from Nutrition Australia you should consider!
1. Enjoy herbs and spices
Most herbs and spices have health-promoting properties, like garlic, ginger and turmeric etc. When adding herbs and spices in your diet it can enhance the flavours of food and improve your health and well-being!
2. Drink water
Water is the most essential drink for your body. Choose water as your main drink to help you stay hydrated instead of other added sugar drinks!
3. Limit salt and added sugar
Avoid adding sugar and salt when you’re cooking and choose carefully from the packaged foods and drinks.
Enjoy a variety of foods
Based on the Healthy Eating Pyramid, incorporating the food from across the five core food groups can help you to manage your health more easily. To start a healthy and balanced diet you can begin with planning your weekly meals. And don’t forget about adding herbs and spices, drinking water, limiting added sugar and salt. Let’s make 2021 your healthiest year!