It’s only been a couple of years ago that the US Department of Agriculture upgraded its food pyramid, considered by the federal government and many other people in the food and nutrition industries to be the definitive answer to the question of healthy eating. But a recent revision to the pyramid reflects newer concepts of optimum nutrition for everyone.
With the understanding that healthy eating means different things to different people, there is no single, one, revised food pyramid. Instead, there are pyramids developed for different people, at different stages of their lives, who enjoy different lifestyles, and have different nutritional needs to fuel those different lives.
With a series of interactive online tools, men aged two to the twilight years can customize a plan for healthy eating, including a pyramid of their own. By supplying data such as age, level of physical activity, and the presence of certain chronic medical conditions, each man can build a pyramid that meets his very own unique needs much more appropriately than the one-size-fits-all pyramid that mostly confused us in the past.
The basics of a diet focused on healthy eating are the same, no matter the individual characteristics mentioned above. An abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, including nuts and seeds, supplemented by an ample amount of lean meats and dairy products and whole-grain carbohydrates should be the foundation to every man’s healthy diet. Sugars, processed and refined foods, fats, and alcohol should be enjoyed in controlled moderation for optimum health at the dinner table.
A food pyramid customized to meet individual needs for healthy eating will include these basic food groups but, based on the personal data supplied, will also include the number of servings recommended each day from each food group. And one truly welcomed upgrade to the new, personalized pyramid system is that the portion sizes are defined, so there is no longer opportunity for divergent descriptions or “fudging” on the serving sizes eaten.
In a steadily growing number of American households, the king of the castle is also the head chef. Meal planning is made easy when a personalized food pyramid has been charted for each member of the household. Simply add up the entire family’s allotment of portions for the different food groups, then plan and prepare meals with these quantities in mind.