The Food Pyramid

The food pyramid has 4 layers:

1. First layer is represented by grains and grain products (pasta, bread, rice); these are rich in complex carbohydrates and dietary fibers. We should eat between 6-11 servings/day. A serving has around 15-20g of carbohydrates (e.g.: 1 slice of bread, 1 small bagel, 2 handful of cereals or popcorn, 1 handful of muesli or pretzels, 3 table spoons of rice or pasta, 4 table spoons of polenta).

2. Second layer is represented by vegetables and fruits, which are rich in vitamins, trace minerals, dietary fibers and water. These also have complex carbohydrates and fructose in their composition (the sugar from the fruits is called fructose). We should eat between 3-5 vegetables servings/day (fresh and colored vegetables are very healthy and can be eaten without any kind of limitation) and 2-4 fruit servings/day. A fruit serving is around 15-20g (e.g.: 1 apple or banana or orange, 1 handful of grapes or cherries, 2 handfuls of strawberries).

3. Third layer is represented by dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, dried vegetables (beans, peas, lentil, soy, corn, chickpeas) and nuts. These are rich in proteins, mono and polyunsaturated fats. We should eat 2-3 dairy servings/day (1 glass of milk, 1 jar of light yogurt, 1 ball of mozzarella, 1 table spoon of sour cream), 2-3 meat, fish, dried vegetables or nuts servings/day (1 piece that equals a palm size of poultry, lean meat, fish, 1 egg, 3 table spoons of rice, beans or corn, 1 handful of nuts). Red meat is recommended to be eaten 1-2 times per month.

4. Fourth layer is represented by sweets and sugary foods, oils, fatty foods, that are rich in simple carbohydrates, saturated fats, cholesterol, and calories. These products are not recommended to be eaten often.

The food from the first and second layer is recommended to be eaten daily, from the third layer a few times per week and from the fourth layer rarely.

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