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Don't forget to eat right in order to have optimum energy. It's easy to do!
In case you're wondering what happened to the food pyramid; well, it was replaced in 2011. Here are the current guidelines which are designed to make it easier to estimate servings.
First make half the plate consist of fruit and vegetables. The fruit recommendation for women and men over 19 is 1.5-2 cups/day. See this chart for a breakdown of age groups and recommended fruit intake. The vegetable recommendation for women and men over 19 is 2.5-3 cups/day. This chart decribes the recommendations.
Grains are divided into whole grains and refined grains. Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel and include whole wheat flour, bulgur, oatmeal, whole cornmeal and brown rice. Refined grains remove the bran and germ which essentially removes fiber, iron and many B vitamins. Refined grains include white flour, de-germed cornmeal, white bread and rice. The recommendation is that at least half of all grains should be whole grains. This chart lists the recommended intake for grains.
Proteins should include lean or low-fat meat and poultry. Include seafood that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, trout, sardines, anchovies, herring, Pacific oysters and mackerel. Watch your sodium intake by limiting processed meats such as ham, sausage, frankfurters and deli meats. Recommended daily protein amounts are shown here.
Dairy intake is based on age. Generally women and men over 19 should consume 3 cups per day. See the recommendations here.
Oils are fats at room temperature. Many foods naturally contain oil like olives, nuts, avocados and some fish. See this chart for daily allowance of oils. For men and women over 19, oil consumption varies between 5-7 teaspoons.
About beans and peas: Beans and peas are legumes and are good sources of plant protein, iron and zinc. In that regard, they are similar to meat and are commonly eaten as vegetarian alternatives to meat. But they also offer dietary fiber and nutrients such as folate and potassium and are therefore considered part of the vegetable food group. What unique foods! Eat these foods and you get to choose how to count them in your daily intake.
Note: Don't forget to follow a special diet if your doctor recommends one.
NEW DIETARY GUIDELINES RELEASED FOR 2015-2020
1. Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan. A healthy eating pattern includes "a variety of vegetables from all the subgroups-dartk green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy and other. Fruits, especially whole fruits. Grains, at least half of which are whole grains. Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese and/or fortified soy beverages. A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas) and nuts, seeds and soy products. Oils."
3. Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake.
4. Shift to healthier food and beverage choices.
5. Support healthy eating patterns for all.