Food pyramid

4 November, 2010

We often hear about the importance of following a balanced diet, but where do we have to start to achieve this? Following the indications of the food pyramid can help us build menus and varied and healthy meals.

Food pyramids are visual guides and excellent didactic tools to carry a healthy and balanced diet, that is, a diet that is sufficient to meet the demands and balance of the body; with a complete and varied composition that incorporates daily all the nutrients in the quantities provided according to the age and the vital circumstances; suitable for the various functions of the organism (grow, heal ...), and also adapted to the energy needs of each one.

Daily foods
Cereals, our fuel. Cereals (bread, pasta, rice ...), potatoes and pulses are our fuel and must be the basis of our diet. It is necessary to take between four and six portions a day, counting as a half ration of pasta or rice, an average potato, two slices of bread or a cup of cereal.

Fruits and vegetables: «five a day». Fruits, vegetables and vegetables should also be present in our daily diet. We recommend about five pieces or portions per day, which can be equivalent to three pieces of fruit and a dish with garnish of vegetables or vegetables.

Dairy, the key to strong bones. We should take between two and four portions a day, understanding a ration like two yoghurts, a glass of milk or thirty grams of semi-cured cheese. In the stages of growth and pregnancy it is advisable to meet the four daily portions.

Weekly foods
Beans: fiber and energy source. To meet the body's fiber requirements, it is enough to eat pulses between two and four times a week, for example, with two main courses of peas, chick peas or lentils.

Dried fruits, source of minerals. We can take between two and four portions a week. Each ration is about five units of walnuts, almonds or pine nuts.

Eggs, rich in proteins. We can eat between two and four a week, except if you have high cholesterol levels; then, you have to eat one or two.

Meat and fish, the cut of meals. Between meat and fish we should eat between six and eight servings per week. Each ration is equivalent to one hundred grams of meat or one hundred and twenty fish or seafood. Preferably, you must choose lean meats such as poultry or beef and more white fish than blue. We'll have enough blue fish once a week.

Olive oil, essential to diet. Oil is one of the main foods of the Mediterranean diet. It should predominate, but in no case should we exceed the six tablespoons a day, both for cooking and for salad.

Wine or beer: just a glass. Accompanying the lunch with wine can be beneficial, as long as we do not use it.

Occasional consumption
Products rich in simple sugars such as sweets, ice creams or soft drinks should be taken occasionally, as well as foods with a high content of saturated fats, such as industrial pastry, sausages, confectionery, snacks or the fries

As regards salt, it is part of the fundamental nutrients, but we often consume in amounts that are well above what is advisable, which favors the onset of high blood pressure. So it is necessary to moderate it.

Other essentials
Proper intake of fluid is essential for maintaining a good state of hydration. In a healthy adult, the normal requirement is from 1,5 to 2 liters of water per day, but if you do physical activity or it is very hot, we will need more amount.

Lastly, it is recommended to do moderate physical activity for 30 minutes per day. It can be to walk lightly, climb the stairs walking ... In addition, it would be necessary to do some type of sport between two and three days to the week.

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