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The Food Pyramid – healthy food choices

This week’s blog is by Marialena, an MSc student in Dundee who is really interested in Food and Nutrition and it’s all about how to choose your food well and wisely. If you are looking to make positive changes to the food you eat, here’s a good overview.

The food pyramid is a pyramid that can help all in terms of eating a healthy and nutritious diet. The way the pyramid works can be broken down and made easy for all. On the base of the pyramid, we have the food groups that should be consumed the most and, on the top, we have the food groups that should be consumed in moderation.

The food pyramid reminds us what to eat more of and what to eat less of for healthy meals
  • Fruit and Vegetables (some of these can also be found in the community garden) should be consumed daily. An easy rule is to remember to have any 5 a day. These could also be found in soups and smoothies if raw fruit and veggies are not your thing! Some supermarkets put wee reminders on their packages saying one of 5 a day.
  • An easy way to moderate this is by filling half (1/2) of your plate with vegetables, a quarter (1/4) with carbohydrates, grains and/ or legumes, and the remaining quarter (1/4) with any form of protein (meat, eggs, fish, poultry, beans). This also makes a colourful plate!
  • Cereals, rice, pasta, potatoes and bread (carbohydrates) should be consumed 3-5 times a day. Carbohydrates are good, they make us feel full and give us energy!
  • Dairy should be consumed up to 3 times a day.
  • Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and nuts should be consumed twice a day. Protein provides us most of our energy and helps us mantain good health.
  • Oils and spreads should be eaten in small amounts.
  • Foods high in sugar and salt should be consumed once or twice a week. We are in a pandemic so this does apply to a certain extent, comfort food can still be eaten as long as some swaps are made!! Such as, eating desserts where fruit provides most of the sweetness instead of sugar.
  • The main goal is the plate to be as colourful as possible. An easy hack is to have at least 3 different colours in your plate. This will not only provide you daily energy needed but will also help you maintain a healthy diet and boost your immune system!

Enjoy your colourful plates!

Marialena

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