The Food Pyramid for Daily Diet

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pyramid_avaThis diagram shows the recommended balance of the five different food groups in your daily diet The largest group is the starchy carbohydrates, followed by fruit and vegetables. Protein and dairy foods are next, with the smallest group containing the fatty and sugary foods. Around half the total calories you need should come from the starchy carbohydrates and 33-35 per cent from fats.

 

Bread, other cereals and potatoes

This group includes all the low-fat, starchy carbohydrate foods, such as bread, rolls, chapatis, breakfast cereals, oats, pasta, noodles, rice, beans, lentils, plantain, green bananas and dishes made from maize, millet and cornmeal. Most of these foods are good sources of dietary fibre and contain other vital nutrients. For good health the aim should be to have 45-50% of your daily energy (calories) from this food group.

Fruit and vegetables

This includes all fresh, frozen and canned fruit and vegetables, salad vegetables, beans and lentils and can also include some dried fruit and fruit juice. Try to choose a wide variety of fruit and vegetables - at least five portions every day - to get the vital vitamins, minerals and antioxidants they provide.

Milk and dairy foods

The dairy foods (milk, cheese, yogurt, fromage frais) are all good sources of protein and minerals, especially calcium. Low-fat dairy products retain the calcium content of full-fat kinds. If avoiding dairy products choose alternatives fortified with calcium.

Meat, fish and alternatives

This group includes red meats, such as beef, pork, bacon, lamb and meat products (e.g. sausages, beefburgers), also poultry, fish, fish products (e.g. fish fingers, fish cakes), offal (liver, kidney, heart), eggs, beans and lentils, nuts and nut products, textured vegetable protein and other meat alternatives. Only small amounts of these high protein foods are needed.

Foods containing fat, foods containing sugar

This includes butter, margarine, low-fat spreads, cooking oils, mayonnaise and oily salad dressing, biscuits, cakes, puddings, ice cream, chocolate, sweets, crisps, sugar and sweetened drinks. Try to limit your intake of fatty and sugary foods. The natural sugar in fruit, vegetables and milk is not harmful to health - but the aim is to limit added sugar.

 

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