Wednesday Wisdom : Making The Right Choice
A while ago I posted food pyramid info graph which explains how to pick food from each food group. What I learned back in my college days was a bit different from the latest one, like there was no mention of fast food /processed foods in the old food pyramid which is understandable as back in those days this industry wasn’t as common as it is now. My favorite addition to the new pyramid is that it just not only includes water consumption recommendation but it has been described as the foundation. Improving and increasing water intake has also been briefly discussed in another post. Let’s move on to the next level of our pyramid, food pyramid that is, and have a look at the other two food groups, vegetables and fruits bread and cereals . It’s been suggested by the food pyramid to include 25% of vegetables and fruits and 20% of bread and cereals in our daily food intake to maintain a healthy body and to get all the required nutrients. Vegetables and fruits are the main and best source of all minerals and vitamins where as bread and cereals mainly provide energy, carbohydrates with protein, minerals and vitamins. There is one important factor that only these two food groups provide which has no nutritional value but very important for our general health. Any guess? Fiber it is! Yes, of all the food groups only these two groups are the source of fiber. Meaning only plant based foods contain fiber. Why is fiber significant when it comes without any nutrients? Well I guess sometimes absence of something is important too. Fiber does not get digested by human body and again this is what makes it so special. It keeps our stomach full for a longer period of time and reduces appetite as it doesn’t get digested. It keeps digestive track healthy and active by improving peristaltic movement of intestines. Whole grains, leafy vegetables and fresh fruits provide good amount of fiber which forms bulk with waste and makes excretion easy. So the bottom line is when you choose grains and cereals make sure you pick whole grains and less refined options. Leafy vegetables and fresh vegetables and fruits with skin are always a good idea. Another thing to remember is not to add too much fiber too quickly to the diet as it can cause bloating, cramps and diarrhea. Instead start with small amounts of fiber and gradually increase.
Picture by Jakub Kolinek