The Healthy Eating Pyramid is a visual representation of the quantities of various foods that you should consume on a daily basis to maintain a healthy diet.
If you plan your meals in accordance with the healthy eating food pyramid, you may be even more likely to meet your daily vitamin, mineral, carbohydrate, protein, and essential fat requirements. So, what is the Malaysian food pyramid 2022?
What is Food Pyramid?
The food pyramid is a simple guideline for controlling the diverse set of food based on daily meal recommendations. In 1974, Sweden was the first country to use the pyramid. The Swedish protested at the time due to the unreasonably high price of food. The Swedish government then formed a commission to investigate the feasibility of merging a balanced diet with all nutrients at a reasonable cost.
This food pyramid’s marketing tagline is “A good, healthy diet at a fair price.” Traditionally, the pyramid had only three levels, but the Harvard School of Public Health expanded it to five levels in 2008, including more than just food to offer more comprehensive healthier lifestyle guidance.
The pyramid was later revised and renamed the ‘Food Guide Pyramid’ by the United States Department of Agriculture in 1992. The goal is to provide recommendations for foods in adequate quantities and in moderate portions. Japan, Denmark, and Sri Lanka are among the countries that are influential in the development of graphic representation for nutritional recommendations. These countries designed their own nutritional guides, such as flags, pagodas, rainbows, and wheels.
The Importance of Food Pyramid
A healthy diet is essential for everyone. The pyramid of food is intended to aid our efforts and resolve us to eat healthily. This healthy food pyramid depicts numerous food types as well as the amount of each that we need to consume in order to maintain a balanced diet.
Our diet, with the proper amounts, can help us be healthier, confident, attractive, and could control our weight so that it is within the usual range of BMI (Body Mass Index). A balanced diet can also lower your chances of getting heart disease, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, and cancer in the long run.
The 5 Layers of The Food Pyramid 2022
From the bottom to the top, the healthy eating Malaysia food pyramid is split into layers of varying sizes that reflect the five major food groups:
- Fruit and vegetables (Level 1)
- Starchy foods, such as bread, cereals and potatoes (Level 2)
- Proteins, such as meat, fish, eggs and beans (Level 3)
- Milk and dairy foods (Level 4)
- Fats and sugars (Level 5)
Ideal Malaysian Healthy Plate
Some of you have probably heard or read this phrase on the media or the internet. Malaysian Healthy Plate is a piece of visual advice for eating a well-balanced meal. In general, these healthful dishes are appropriate for people of all ages. It is used to control weight in adults while also avoiding or decreasing the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disorders like heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure (hypertension).
The term ‘quarter-quarter-half’ refers to a plate that should have a quarter portion of proteins, a quarter piece of carbs, and the remaining half of the plate should have fibres (vegetables and fruits). The importance of each component of a plate and Malaysian dietary guidelines is explained below.
(Level 1) Fruit and Vegetables
It is located at the bottom of the pyramid and is recommended. This level emphasises the significance of exercise, bodyweight management, and portion control in each component.
Aim for at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. The idea is to incorporate a range of foods to ensure that you obtain a decent balance of vitamins and minerals on a regular basis. Always seek the best healthy food in Malaysia.
(Level 2) Starchy Foods
Carbohydrates should account for the second-largest amount of your dish. Potatoes, rice, beans, bread, healthy grains, and pasta are all options. The carbohydrates in these meals are required by your body to produce energy. Carbohydrates also aid in muscle protection, blood pressure regulation, and cholesterol reduction.
(Level 3) Proteins
Protein is required by the body for construction and repair. Because it is in the middle of the pyramid, you should eat a modest quantity at each meal. Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products are examples of high-quality proteins (those that are of animal origin and are simpler for the body to absorb). Low-quality proteins, such as cereals, fruit, peas, beans, nuts, and seeds, also contribute toward your daily requirement.
This level contains foods that are rich in proteins, fats, zinc, vitamin B and Iron. Malaysians are highly recommended to prioritise protein fishes that are rich in omega-3 and low-fat meats such as chicken breasts.
(Level 4) Dairy Foods
Dairy is likewise at the top of the food pyramid, thus it should be consumed in moderation at every meal. Choose from a selection of milk, cheese, yoghurt, butter, cream, and any other animal milk-based items. Foods of this category are high in calcium and minerals, making them healthy for growing children in moderation.
(Level 5) Sugar and Fat
The healthy eating pyramid is topped with fats and sweets. Because they are non-essential dietary components, they should be used in moderation. Consume limited amounts of biscuits, crisps, cakes, pastries, and other processed foods, such as pizzas, ready-meals, and pies, as they contain a lot of calories and little nutritious value.
Additionally, avoid saturated fats (often those derived from animal sources, such as butter and meat), which can elevate cholesterol and be harmful to one’s health. Foods on this level should be limited or avoided since they are rich in carbs, lipids, sugars, and salt, which can cause health problems if not regulated.
To recapitulate, the food pyramid explanation is only a nutritional guide, and it is up to the person to put into practice what is indicated in the food pyramid and the Healthy Plate. A balanced diet with a reasonable quantity is what constitutes good nutrition. Stay fit and stay healthy!