Author: Myron Yau, Nutritionist at HKBioTek
When we talk about food pyramid, what will be the first thing coming up to your mind? A traditional food pyramid with 4 horizontal layers? In fact, the United States Department of Agriculture has published a new modified version of food pyramid in 2005, My Pyramid. It represents everyone has a unique food pyramid according to his or her daily activities.
Being different from its traditional counterpart with horizontal layers, the new food pyramid is composed of vertical 6 smaller triangles in different colors, in which orange for grains, green for vegetables, red for fruits, yellow for oil, blue for milk and purple for meat and beans. The traditional one classifies different categories of food into four horizontal layers, which easily renders people think that the foods on the upper layers to be less healthy. However, this concept is wrong since all of these nutrients are essential to our bodies in various amounts. The new pyramid stressed that all of the nutrients are equally important and, should be eaten in adequate amounts and diverse manner. Also, it suggests the appropriate intake proportions of different nutrients, such as the size of yellow triangle is smaller than that of orange triangle, indicating that less lipid should be eaten than grains in proportion.
Secondly, a man running up the stair on the left of the pyramid points out the necessity of a balance between diet and exercise. At least 20-30minutes of exercise a day is recommended. The new pyramid does not deliver too much specific information on the amount of each category of food to be ingested. This implies every one has his or her own lifestyle. Therefore, we have to research more in order to determine the optimum ingestion amount of each nutrient category, with the consideration on our physique and needs.
All in all, food pyramid is modified according to the current scientific research. With the advancement in science and technology, a newer food pyramid may appear soon!