Healthy Eating: Understanding The Basics

Most of the time it is true that one can perform better if he or she understands the logic behind how things work. This can apply to hobbies, sciences, indeed almost all areas of life, and cooking is no exception. A better understanding of how the basic nutrients effect our bodies can offer a healthier perspective on the way we cook.

Healthy cooking can be influenced heavily by the cooking method

Example: If you use deep frying oil multiple times you’ll get the same tasty food every time, but, it will be healthy the first time and somewhat unhealthy subsequent times. That’s because when the oil exposed to high temperatures changes occur to its chemical composition, and the newly-formed compounds are detrimental to health. Do you see how easy it is to get things wrong? This website contains a variety of healthy recipes that will hopefully help you eat better. We cover the basics of healthy cooking and you can browse through our healthy eating recipes and try a different one every day. Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments and feel free to send your healthy recipes, or recipe adaptions, to us.

Healthy Eating And The Food Pyramid

 

If you have the curiosity to ask people if they are concerned with living a healthy life, probably most of them would say they do. However, when entering in deeper detail, it becomes obvious that healthy living can have multiple definitions. Eventually, the medical community of professionals came to the conclusion that a healthy eating guide could be used by people who are concerned with their well-being, but have no idea about what’s good for them and what should be avoided. This is how, in 1992, the Food Guide Pyramid was made available to the public by the Center for Nutrition Policy & Promotion of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). As you can see, the idea was to educate people to keep the use of fats, oils and sweets in their diet at a minimum, while emphasizing more on other foods such as fruit and vegetables, meat, bread, cereal, rice or pasta. For a better understanding, foods were split in groups, and for each group, there was an indication about how many servings one needed to have in order to make sure she has a healthy diet. However, “servings” is a relative notion. People understood it in their own way, some of them serving bigger portions than others, therefore getting overweight despite their belief that they were eating healthily and cooked only healthy recipes. Moreover, the food pyramid didn’t teach people that they needed to combine a balanced nutrition with some physical activity, in order to stay fit.

 

In 2005, only 13 years after the first version of the Food Pyramid was developed, a new, improved version was released, called “My Pyramid – steps to a healthier you”, which retains all food groups and their weight in the daily diet as the previous pyramid, but includes additionally a silhouette climbing stairs, a graphic depiction of physical activity. While the guiding principles remained unchanged, My Pyramid brings in the idea that an overall healthy diet is not only balanced in essential nutrients, but also puts limits on other food components consumption, thus limiting the intake of fats, cholesterol and calories. Food guides developed before 1992 were offering only guidelines on the daily nutrients intake, so people were free to add as much sugar or fat on top of those, without any restriction. As modern science and research proved that bad cholesterol, fats and sugars increase the risk of developing such and such conditions, all these findings were incorporated into the new food guides. USDA has a long history in food guidance. Here are the main guides to a healthy nutrition they’ve developed since 1916, guides which were addressing the main health concerns of their time:

  • 1916: Food for Young Children
  • 1946: National Food Guide (also known as “The Basic Seven”)
  • 1956: Food for Fitness – A Daily Food Guide (commonly called “The Basic Four”)
  • 1979: Hassle-Free Guide to a Better Diet
  • 1992: Food Guide Pyramid
  • 2005: MyPyramid

The 1992 Food Guide Pyramid and MyPyramid are based on the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) established by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine.

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