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What Is The Food Pyramid? How to Interpret It

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The healthy food pyramid, also known as the food or food pyramid, is a graphic representation used to explain how a balanced diet is achieve. In other words, the food pyramid is a visual representation (practical image) that helps us understand what foods to eat to achieve a healthy diet.

The food pyramid is one of the essential bases to achieve a healthy lifestyle, exercise, and active life. Eating well is taking care of our body and mind; getting a balanced diet is the basis for balancing our values in substances such as cholesterol, vitamins and minerals, blood glucose and others.

How to Interpret the Food Pyramid?

The healthy food pyramid is read from bottom to top, prioritizing the foods that appear in the longest strip and limiting the consumption of those that appear in the smaller and smaller boxes. The objective of this image, easily interpretable, is that we manage to internalize which foods we should prioritize to achieve a healthy diet.

In this sense, as the healthy eating pyramid shows, what is essential is what appears at its base, with the broadest stripe of all. It includes the habits that, in addition to food, we must acquire to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, as we analyze the content of its upper ranges, we must minimize those food groups.

The Explanation of the Food Pyramid

Below we analyze what each strip of the pyramid of healthy eating refers to.

Healthy Habits

As we have already mentioned, to achieve a healthy lifestyle, we must not only have a balanced and healthy diet. We must also adopt other habits that will give us the results we are looking for together with a correct diet.

For this reason, at the base of the food pyramid, we do not find any food group. But we can see the lifestyle recommendations that we must follow. The drawings that we see at this base of the pyramid tell us that we must stay hydrated, exercise daily, cook our food with healthy techniques, achieve emotional balance, and balance the calories consumed and those we eat.


The second band (orange) of the food pyramid includes all the foods that provide us with carbohydrates. It has, for example, bread, cereals, rice, pasta and potatoes, which give us the energy necessary to focus our day. Whenever we can, yes, we will choose whole hydrates since they are considered complex hydrates and provide more dietary fiber. But, in addition, we must adjust the number of carbohydrates to the physical activity we do to achieve energy balance.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and Vegetables

Surely we all remember the recommendation of the experts; we should consume five pieces of fruit or vegetables every day. That is why they appear on the second rung of the healthy eating pyramid. Fruits and vegetables afford us a considerable amount of vitamins and minerals and are vital to having a healthy diet. They are also a great bet to consume as a snack between meals.

Dairy and Other Proteins

In the third strip and after vegetables and fruits, the food pyramid shows us a strip with dairy and other proteins. According to experts. The ideal consumption of the foods included in this step is one to three servings a day and alternately or randomly.

Thus, in this range, we find dairy products, an essential source of calcium for our body. That must be limited due to their high contribution of saturated fats associated with increased cholesterol.

In the same range as dairy, we find other foods that provide us with non-dairy protein. It includes eggs, nuts, white meat (turkey or chicken) and fish. In addition, foods such as salmon, mackerel, sardines or trout (all bluefish) should be eaten once or twice a week and, if possible, replace meat.

Red Meats and Sausages

Almost at the highest of the food pyramid, we find red meats, cured cheeses and pickled meats or sausages. Its position in the pyramid is due to its high content of saturated fat. Which is why it occupies a place of occasional consumption. However, if you are going to consume it, always bet on cooking it in the oven, steamed or chilled, to avoid adding more saturated fats.

Foods High In Fat and Sugar

At the highest of the food pyramid, we find the foods we should restrict the most. This top includes sweets, candies, buns, and cookies high in sugar or fat and should be limited as much as possible. Although it is perhaps the most difficult challenge. They can be replaced by healthy alternatives that provide you with more beneficial nutrients.

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