Attended a very interesting health meeting today and it was brought to my attention that Havard School of Public Health (HSPH) updated the Food Pyramid in 2008 based on the best available scientific evidence about the links between diet and health. According to HSPB this new Food Pyramid fixes the fundamental flaws in the original US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Pyramid and offers sound information to help people make better choices about what to eat.
HSPB has also kindly listed the top 5 tips to be healthy:
1. Start with exercise : A healthy diet is built on a base of regular exercise
2. Focus on food, not grams: Don't worry about specific servings or grams of food. It is important to note that everybody is different with different sizes, pre-existing conditions, family history etc. so there shouldn't be a set amount of serving.
3. Go with plants: Eating a plant base diet is the healthiest. Aim for lots of greens and healthy fats like olive oil and canola oil
4. Cut way back on American staples: Cut down on red meat, sugary drinks, potatoes and salty snacks.
5. Take a multivitamin: Taking a multivitamin can be a good nutrition insurance policy as it can fill in nutrient holes that may affect even the most careful eaters. Choose one multivitamin and top it up with Vitamin D. There is growing evidence Vitamin D lowers the risk of Colon and Breast Cancer.
For more info you can check out HSPB's handout here
I think this Food Pyramid is more in line with current average person's activity and nutritional requirements. Back in the days, my parents had lots of daily exercises working in the farm hence there was no need to put this in the pyramid. What do you think about current living trends?
Dr Nicole Ng (MBBS) is a medical doctor with a passion in women's health and medical research