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Diet plays a fundamental part in people’s lives. The food people eat, has an immense impact on their health and well-being. (Food diseases) As James Douglas-Hamilton said, “what we eat is, of course, what we choose to eat, and that must always be the case” (Douglas-Hamilton, 1996, p3). However, people should still be aware of their dietary choices.
The number one enemy of a healthy diet is, of course, sugar. Nowadays, sugar dominates food economy. It is a well-known fact that sugar is a very addictive substance, and it can lead to obesity, heart disease or even cancer. Sugar is as addictive as an A class drug, and it is found in most of the food that is consumed nowadays.
In order to guide people to lead a healthy life, the Food Pyramid was created. It was firstly published in Sweden in 1974. Even though there is a significant difference between the one published in 1974 and the current one, the concept is unchanged. The Food Pyramid represents a graphic explanation of what and how often people should consume certain types of food in order to reduce the risk of alimentation related diseases. The pyramid has five layers, which follow very simple rules. If the food is on the lower layers, it means it can be consumed more often and in higher quantities. The top of the pyramid represents the ailments that should be consumed in smaller quantities. Nonetheless, no foods should be excluded from people’s diets, as they all contribute to a balanced regime.
The Food Pyramid emphasizes the fact that a nutritional diet is based on equilibrium, variation, and moderation. A healthy diet begins with cereals, fruits, and vegetables because they are low in saturated fats, sugar, sodium, and cholesterol. These three go hand in hand with the foods which are high in proteins, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, which are represented in the third layer of the pyramid, and meat, fish, eggs, poultry which fill the fourth layer of the Food Pyramid. The top layer illustrates the food and drinks high in saturated fats, which are the “enemies” of a good diet and which should be consumed rarely and in very small quantities.
The Food Pyramid was the guideline created to improve the quality of life. It gives the possibility of diversity, where people can choose and combine the food from each group, based on individual preferences.
The lowest layer of the pyramid is represented by fruits and vegetables. These two should be consumed daily, as they “provide” the human body with vitamins, minerals, fibers. Moreover, they are very low in calories. Fruits and vegetables should be consumed raw, between five and seven times a day.
In order to get the daily intake of carbohydrates, people should move one layer higher on the pyramid and consume cereals, potatoes, pasta, and rice.
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