In the year 2005, the Spanish food pyramid was introduced by the USDA. The staggering increase in the number of Hispanic patients suffering from Type 2 diabetes sent out alarm signals to the governments across the world to come up with a food plan that listed essential and optimum nutrition needed to enjoy good health. The first food pyramid was released by United States Department for Agriculture in 1992 which is revised every 5 years. This attempt was made to enlighten the Hispanic community about the healthy food habits and proper nutrition that is required to maintain ideal body weight.
What is the Spanish Food Pyramid?
The Spanish food pyramid is a mnemonic graphic with horizontal lines segregating the different food groups that form the part of the balanced diet. Each horizontal division is representative of a different food group and also reflects the daily dietary requirement of that particular food. The Hispanic food pyramid, as it is sometimes called, is essentially made up of five different food groups needed for a perfectly balanced diet.
At the bottom of the pyramid lies the grain group that includes all the cereals, breads, pastas, rice, and all other carbohydrates and starch. Carbohydrates are considered to be energy rich food and a balanced diet should include 6-11 servings of this food group daily. While selecting food from this group, opt for whole grains, as they are loaded with fibers, vitamins, and minerals. Say yes to brown bread and whole wheat tortillas and no to processed food.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
In the next level of the Spanish food pyramid, you can find two different food groups comprising of fresh fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the richest sources of vitamins and anti-oxidants that are essential for good skin.
Include different color vegetables in your diet like spinach, red cabbage, peppers, carrots, etc. Food pyramid diet recommends dieters to consume fresh fruits like oranges, apples, papaya, etc and not go for processed food that is loaded with empty calories and preservatives. The food pyramid diet suggests 3-5 servings of vegetables and 2-4 servings of fresh fruits everyday.
The next level is also known as the beans food pyramid representative of the proteins requirements in our daily diet. This food group includes vegetable proteins like legumes, beans, and nuts and also animal proteins like meat and eggs. The foods from this group should be taken in moderation and to gain all the nutrients 2-3 servings of proteins is recommended daily. Low fat dairy products like cheese, skim milk and yogurt is also included at this level. 2-3 servings of dairy products are included in this food pyramid level.
And right at the top of the food pyramid diet is sweets and fats that should be eaten in extremely controlled manner as they fill you with empty calories and don’t score high on nutrients.