Tuesday, 15 May 2007
Pyramid plan for healthy eating
I originally posted this at Joanna's Food, but I'm putting it here too to spur you all on in thinking about heart-healthy pasta dishes for Heart of the Matter 3 ...
Until recently, health departments displayed a healthy eating plan using a pyramid: the base showed complex carbs - bread, pasta, cereals, pulses, rice; next, fruit and veg; then protein, divided into meat/fish, and dairy products; the tip - meaning only tiny daily amounts - represented fats and oils.
The pyramid was largely aimed at reducing consumption of fats, and it was influential in achieving a reduction. But since it was introduced in 1992, our understanding of the role of fats in the diet has hugely increased - we now know that there are two types of cholesterol, and that just cutting out fat and replacing them with carbs doesn't really cut the mustard, your diet needs to include some types of oils which boost "good" cholesterol - olive oil, oily fish.
And so the pyramid has been revised. It doesn't have quite the same graphic simplicity, so instead, the US department of agriculture has a website - Steps to a healthier you - which will help you to find the healthiest diet for you, depending on your own circumstances. Once you've got your healthy diet guidelines, there are tips to help you achieve it ("inside the pyramid").
Definitely worth visiting.