The Food Pyramid

The food pyramid is a useful instrument for understanding the basic principles of food and nutrition. It is similar to so called food guides, that combine illustrations with guidelines for the general population.

Pirámide americana

US Ministry of Agriculture Pyramid

Healthy Eating Pyramid. SENC 2007

Initially, the food pyramid was proposed by the US Ministry of Agriculture, in 1992. Later, variants emerged, but always with the same concept, that more foods should be consumed from the base of the pyramid, and fewer of those appearing further up.

The original pyramid showed foods distributed in four levels, according to their nutritional properties. At the base, those foods high in carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and minerals, further up, those foods containing animal protein, and finally foods high in fats and refined sugars.

Later, the Spanish Society for Community Nutrition (SENC) proposed and presented a pyramid with a more practical distribution, classifying foods by frequency of consumption. It also included a significant change, which was the inclusion of olive oil in the pyramid, a fat considered healthy owing to the protection it affords to the cardiovascular system, recommending its daily consumption.

There is also a SENC pyramid adapted especially for the child population.

Healthy Eating DELTA Pyramid The Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian Diet

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