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Healthy Diet Pyramid

Coutesy: Paramasivan, Singapore

A Balanced Diet - The Pyramid Way

The following pages introduces you to The Healthy Diet Pyramid. The Pyramid illustrates the research-based food guidance system developed by Department of Nutrition, Ministry of Health.

The Pyramid is based on research on what foods Singaporeans eat, what nutrients are in these foods, and how to make the best food choices for you.

The Pyramid will help you choose what and how much to eat from each food group to get the nutrients you need and not too many calories, or too much fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sugar, sodium, or alcohol.

Following the Pyramid will help you keep your intake of total fat and saturated fat low. A diet low in fat will reduce your chances of getting certain diseases and help you maintain a healthy weight.

This guide will also help you learn how to spot and control the sugars and salt in your diet, and make lower sugar and salt choices.

What is the Healthy Diet Pyramid?

The Pyramid is an outline of what to eat each day. It is not a rigid prescription, but a general guide that lets you choose a healthful diet that's right for you.

The Pyramid calls for eating a variety of foods to get the nutrients you need and at the same time the right amount of calories to maintain or improve your weight.

The Pyramid also focuses on fat because most Singaporeans diets are too high in fat, especially saturated fat.

Looking at the Pieces of the Pyramid

The Healthy Diet Pyramid emphasizes foods from the four major food groups shown in the three lower sections of the Pyramid. Each of these food groups provides some, but not all, of the nutrients you need. Foods in one group cannot replace those in another. No one food group is more important than another - for good health, you need them all.

The small tip of the Pyramid shows fats, oils, sugar and salt. These are foods such cooking oils, butter, margarine, sugars, sweet desserts, seasonings and sauces. These foods provide calories and little else nutritionally. Most people should use them sparingly.

On the next level of the Healthy Diet Pyramid are foods that come mostly from animals: Meat and Alternatives like beef, lamb, mutton, pork, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese; nuts and seeds. These foods are for protein, calcium, iron, and zinc.

The third level includes foods that come from plants - Vegetables and Fruits. Most people need to eat more of these foods for the vitamins, minerals, and fibre they supply.

At the base of the Healthy Diet Pyramid are Rice and Alternatives like noodles, breads, cereals, chapati, and pasta - all foods from grains. Your daily meals should include largest number of servings of these foods each day.

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