How we can apply the nutritional pyramid to our daily diet

Eating is an act that we perform every several times a day, both for pleasure and for survival, that is why it is necessary for society to have guidelines to guide us in choosing the healthiest foods to put on the table. To help us in this task there are different organisms at national and international level that give us some guidelines of behavior towards food. In the case of Spain, this body that guides us is the Spanish Society of Community Nutrition (SENC) , which in 2015 presented its new version of the nutritional pyramid.

In this version, we can see some important changes in this pyramid, such as the inclusion of non-purely food factors that influence us when making our nutritional choices: practicing 60 minutes of daily physical activity or using healthy culinary techniques are in the Base of the new nutritional pyramid.

If you look at the different foods in the pyramid, we can get an idea of what we should, according to SENC, eat more or less often. But how can we move this nutritional pyramid to our daily diet? We give you some ideas.

nutritional pyramid

Whole grains, legumes, and tubers: the base of the pyramid

This is something that has not changed over the years: whole grains and flours always appear at the base of the nutritional pyramid, this being the group of foods that, according to SENC, we should consume more often. Additionally, this same group has been gaining ground nuts, legumes, and tubers, all sources of carbohydrates.

Ideally, according to SENC, is that this group of foods is present in most meals of the day. We could do, for example, including wholegrain oats in breakfast, mid – morning toast, a dish of vegetables at lunch, a handful of nuts for a snack and a side of baked potato at dinner. Thus, the three main daily meals and two snacks that we usually perform between hours would have at least one of the foods at the base of the pyramid.

Fruits and vegetables on the second step

The second step of the pyramid is made up of fruits, vegetables, and vegetables, in addition to extra virgin olive oil, our liquid gold. Campaigns such as “5 a day” encourage the presence of these foods in each of our dishes, either as a basis for them or as accompaniment.

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To be present in our daily diet we can choose, for example, to add a few pieces of fresh fruit in our porridge oatmeal at breakfast, a few avocado slices in our mid-morning toast, seasoning the vegetables or the salad Accompanying the meal with extra virgin olive oil, take a piece of fruit along with the nuts at the snack, and take as dessert in our dinner a piece of small fruit.

nutritional pyramid

Protein sources, in moderation

Both meat and fish, eggs and dairy, all rich in protein, appear a step above the pyramid. This means that we can consume two or three servings of dairy a day, and one to three servings of meat, fish, and eggs a day, alternating the protein sources we consume.

According to the menu that we are putting together, we can include milk to make porridge for breakfast, a serving of fish as a main meal, a yogurt to accompany our snack, and for dinner we can reserve a serving of lean meat of Chicken, for example, and a glass of milk before going to sleep. Other days we can prepare an omelet at dinner instead of the meat, or include a few pieces of fresh cheese at mid-morning to go changing.

Sweets, fried and unhealthy fats, only occasional consumption

At the top of the pyramid, we can find foods (in this case are highly processed products) that we should restrict to a very occasional consumption, only for special occasions. Among these products are industrial bakery, fried snacks typical of the festivities, unhealthy fats (although here are represented with butter, which has been “pardoned” recently) and sweets. It is important to note that these products, apart from fats, are not necessary for a healthy diet.

Already outside the pyramid, and also marked as “occasional consumption”, we find the alcohol represented with beer and wine. It is worth noting, if we speak of hydration, that water is the only liquid that appears inside the pyramid, and also in its base. Water should be the means by which we hydrate each day.

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