Beyond the Food Pyramid: A Healthy Diet Focuses on Plant Based Foods

You’ve heard about the food pyramid, and you’re aware of the four food groups. However, the food pyramid is not without controversy because dietitians and doctors aren’t sure that the pyramid today really represents the basis of a healthy diet.

What does a healthy diet really look like? Nutritionists agree that for most people, a healthy diet should focus more on plant-based foods. No one gets fat from eating too much broccoli. You can eat as many veggies as you want, but a healthy diet includes at least five servings a day. Two to four daily servings of fruit is sufficient.

Animal-rights activists argue that the dairy group is optional and isn’t necessary to a healthy diet. Opinions vary, but approximately two servings a day of organic yogurt or cheese are recommended. 

Carbohydrates are necessary for proper brain-functioning and are not the enemy. A healthy diet includes about six servings of whole grain foods per day. The key is purchasing items with 100% whole grains. Some doctors link the rise in adult-onset diabetes to refined and processed carbohydrates, so it pays to eat quality, high-fiber grains.

A healthy diet includes foods rich in protein, but lean meats and seafood are recommended only in small amounts a few times a week. Did you know that animal-based foods are not required for a healthy diet? You can form complete proteins by combining legumes like beans or lentils with whole grains. Unlike meats, legumes are low in saturated fat.

Olive oil and other healthy fats are part of a healthy diet, and dark chocolate is even recommended in small amounts. By remembering the food basics of a healthy diet, you’ll look and feel better every day.

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