Havard's food pyramid explained

The 1992 model of balanced diet considered outdated, Harvard developed a new model taking into account developments in the field of nutrition.

This model is summarized in the diagram of the food pyramid below, and we will explain what each floor means and how this should be reflected in your choice of supermarket shopping, if you want a diet designed for optimal health ...

Food pyramid from  Harvard for health

This new model is radically changing the distribution and the number of servings from the outdated model established in 1992 by the U.S. agency for health.

Note that the Harvard model has an extra floor for sport as a factor of good health, that we fully endorse, but we want to limit to diet alone. It also includes daily weight control.

First floor: Basic food

Products to eat often

It has three sections, fruits and vegetables, oils and fats for good health, whole foods such as bread, rice and wholemeal pasta. It is what we need to consume in greater proportion while varying as much as possible species and colors.

Recommended oils are based on olive and rapeseed oil for cooking and seasoning and less often soy, nuts, sunflower.

You should drink mostly water, but tea and coffee are also recommended.

Sources of proteins

Second floor: Protein sources

The left section mentions seeds like almonds and walnuts, dried vegetables such as beans and lentils, as well as tofu which is rather consumed in Asia. Right section mentions fish, seafood and poultry as a first choice of source of proteins.

This must be consumed less than the content of the first floor and more than what is in the third.

Dairy product

Third floor: Sources of calcium and vitamin D

These are dairy products: cheese, yogurt, skim milk. You can reduce the consumption of two servings per day providing you add food supplements of vitamin D and calcium. Both are necessary for metabolism and allow you to live longer, also vitamin D strengthens the immune system.

To eat rarely

Top floor: Have fun occasionally

What we need to eat in less quantity is red meat, white bread, white rice, potatoes, soft drinks, butter, cake, salted products.

They bring bad fats, but red meat is a required source of iron. Salted products and sodas are absolutely devoid of nutritional value. Potatoes provide potassium that can easily be found in other vegetables (like turnips), whhile bringing less calories. White bread, white rice, have no interest in themselves compared to whole or semi-whole counterparts.

Wine and supplements

And next: Red wine and supplements

Wine is part of what we may consume daily (in small quantities), but only adults.

Food supplements may also be included in our diet. Only one is really necessary, vitamin D, in winter, for all. Others depend on our state, for example pregnancy, or to compensate deficiencies in vitamin B, K, etc ... Calcium is required for elderly. Vitamin C can be added without problem but is unnecessary if you eat enough fruits and vegetables such as kiwis, cabbages, tomatoes.

In conclusion, the pyramid does not give guidance on the quantities but only on the proportions. Quantities are derived from the amount of calories from food, that to evaluate, we need a online dietary assistant.