the food pyramid
Created on May 29, 2023
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A complete and balanced diet
The pyramid is divided horizontally, from the base towards the top, into different sectors: each contains various types of food and the size of the sector is indicative of the relative frequency/quantity with which they should be consumed for a complete and balanced diet. At the base of the pyramid are the foods to be consumed more frequently and in greater quantities, at the top of the pyramid are those to be eaten in moderation. Over time, various graphic versions of the food pyramid have followed one another which have changed the placement of foods in the various sectors, and, consequently, their frequency of consumption. An example of this is red meat, the consumption of which has been reduced to no more than once a week.
CEREALS AND TUBERS The most common rice, corn, buckwheat belong to the group, but also minor cereals and pseudo-cereals such as millet, sorghum, teff, quinoa, amaranth, which can be used in various recipes and represent excellent alternatives guaranteeing good share of energy. Cereals and derivatives are important sources of carbohydrates and energy. They provide good amounts of B-complex vitamins and protein. The proteins of cereals and derivatives are deficient in essential amino acids, but if combined with those of legumes, they can give rise to a protein mixture of biological value comparable to that of animal proteins.
FRUIT AND VEGETABLES The group also includes fresh legumes and represents a very important source of fibres, useful for good intestinal function, of vitamin A, of vitamin C, of other vitamins and minerals, among which potassium is particularly representative. The significant presence of antioxidants in the group should also be underlined, which carry out a precious protective action against free radicals, responsible for reactions that damage cells. Even coeliacs can vary when choosing fruit, vegetables and legumes, and it is advisable that they are always present in abundance on the table
MILK AND DERIVATIVES The group includes milk, yoghurt, dairy products and cheeses and supplies calcium, in a highly absorbable form by the body, proteins of excellent biological value, i.e. rich in essential amino acids and some vitamins (especially B2, A, D). Better to prefer partially skimmed milk and cheeses with a lower fat content, also to limit the intake of cholesterol. Fresh cheeses, having a higher percentage of water, have a lower fat and calorie content than aged ones which, for the same weight, also contain a greater quantity of salt.
MEAT, FISH AND EGGS his group supplies trace elements, proteins of excellent biological quality and vitamins of the B complex. In the group, the leaner parts of the meat are preferable, alternating between red and white meats, and the consumption of fatter meats should be limited due to the high content of cholesterol.Fish is an excellent source of essential fatty acids and thanks to its low cholesterol content, it is an important food for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.For eggs, an acceptable consumption for healthy subjects is up to 2-4 servings a week. In the group of protein foods we find legumes, which also provide main nutrients such as iron, other trace elements and proteins, which are characteristic of meat, fish and eggs.The combination of legumes with gluten-free cereals, in addition to expanding the possibilities of choices, offers a nutritionally balanced dish.
SEASONING FATS The group includes both fats of vegetable origin and those of animal origin. Their consumption must be limited. They play a role in enhancing the flavor of foods and in providing essential fatty acids as well as fat-soluble vitamins of which they also promote absorption. Fats of vegetable origin (in particular extra virgin olive oil) are preferred over those of animal origin (butter, cream, lard, lard, etc.), rich in saturated fatty acids and cholesterol, considered responsible for important cardiovascular pathologies It is important to read the nutritional label of the products to choose those with the best quality fats.