The foods of the food pyramid are necessary for our optimal health. But in what quantities and which ones are the best? These are questions that must be tailored to our individual needs. So must the answer to what foods make us healthy be a unique one. Healthy for me, is not the same as healthy for you. Everyone’s nutritional needs are different, and everyone’s level of calorie consumption is different.
We can examine some of the better foods, and offer advice as to what particular formulas make us the healthiest on average. The average person needs an hour of physical exercise, six to eleven servings of grains, two to four servings of fruit, three to five servings of vegetables, two to three servings of meat, two to three servings of milk, and enough water to make it all work.
This could be the formula for an eighty year old man, or a fifteen year old girl. The recommended daily calorie intake is just as vague and generalized as the daily food intake pyramid. Can you see how this might not work for either one? When a guideline published is this general, it is up to the individual to determine what food regimen will keep them at their healthiest, and then implement such a plan.
According to the guides published by the USDA, calorie needs vary from one age group to another, one gender to another. So how do you determine what your individual needs are? You can setup a journal for recording your daily caloric intake for about a month. Make a note of your weight each day. If you don’t gain any weight during the course of that month, you’re eating your recommended calorie level in order to maintain your weight. Now, take that calorie information, check with a nutritionist about the recommended daily allowances of vitamins and minerals that you need. Take both pieces of information, calorie intake and nutritional requirements, use the food pyramid and comprise a combination of foods that will help you achieve these recommended daily intakes, and still be enjoyable food. You now have an individualized healthy eating plan.
What those foods might be, are entirely dependent upon the unique guideline you have just established. This guide will not work for Cousin Bob, or Aunt Tilley, but it is the unique blueprint for you. It is at this point in the process that we seem to lack the direction or the discipline to finish what the government started. Maybe we need to incorporate these techniques into a class taught at school. Maybe this would give our young people the direction and tools they need in order to begin such a process, make it a lifetime habit, and pass it along to their children.
Once the importance of a particular food is understood by us, it is a simple as learning our multiplication tables. We simply memorize the benefit, and incorporate it into our daily intake as needed. As you take the time to incorporate a healthy food plan, don’t’ forget the necessity of exercise in our daily lives. In order to keep our bodies healthy and functioning off of healthy food, we need to keep it fit. This comes through proper amounts of exercise.
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