The foods of the food pyramid are necessary for our optimal health.  But in what quantities and which ones are the best?  These are questions that must be tailored to our individual needs.  And the answers will benefit our unique needs.  Healthy for me, is not the same as healthy for you.  Everyone’s nutritional needs are different, and everyone’s level of calorie consumption is different

As you study the food pyramid published by the USDA, we can examine some of the better foods, and try to decide what particular formulas make us the healthiest on average. The average person needs an hour of physical exercise, six to eleven servings of grains, two to four servings of fruit, three to five servings of vegetables, two to three servings of meat, two to three servings of milk, and enough water to make it all work.

The guidelines found on the general chart of the pyramid are as listed above, and this could be the formula for an eighty year old man, or a fifteen year old girl. The recommended daily calorie intake is just as vague and generalized as the daily food intake pyramid. Can you see how this might not work for either one?  When a guideline published is this general, it is up to the individual to determine what food regimen will keep them at their healthiest, provide the caloric intake necessary, but not excessive.

If your goal is to cut calorie consumption, you would be among the latest wave of health conscious individuals who believe that a low calorie intake keeps us in our healthiest condition.  There have been studies done with rats that lend credibility to this claim.  Lowering the rat’s body weight by only 10% yielded a longer life; longer life spans were noted for up to a 30% cut in daily calorie intake.  Anything past that point produced unhealthy consequences.  Now, exactly how this translates into human life spans, we’re not sure.

Once the importance of a particular food plan is understood by us, it is a simple as learning our multiplication tables.  We simply memorize the food requirements, and incorporate it into our daily intake as needed.  As you take the time to incorporate a healthy food plan, don’t’ forget the necessity of exercise in our daily lives.  In order to keep our bodies healthy and functioning as expected, we need to keep it fit.  This comes through proper amounts of exercise

According to the guides published by the USDA, calorie needs vary from one age group to another, one gender to another.  So how do you determine what your individual needs are?  You can setup a journal for recording your daily caloric intake for about a month.  Make a note of your weight each day.  If you don’t gain any weight during the course of that month, you’re eating your recommended calorie level in order to maintain your weight.  Now, take that calorie information, use the food pyramid and comprise a combination of foods that will help you achieve this recommended daily intake, and still be enough to be filling and please the palette. You now have an individualized healthy eating plan for weight maintenance.  To produce a reduction in body weight, simply begin to cut calorie intake, without cutting too much from the daily recommended servings.

This guide will not work for Brother Bill or Sister Sue, but it is the unique blueprint for you.  It is at this point in the process that we seem to lack the direction to finish what the government started.  Whatever the formula, your food intake and level of calorie content, will affect your general overall health everyday.  Overeating can bring on obesity, under eating can bring about anemia; you need to find that one right guide for you, and plan, plan, plan.