“You are what you eat” said for the first time Anthelme Brillat-Savarin back in 1826 and since then this phrase is being used a lot by nutritionists. If this is really true, then a lot of Americans would appear to be unhealthy, treated with chemicals and, commercially raised animal flesh. While this does not sound very nice, it is nonetheless a description of the typical Americans who survive on the consumption of big macs and greasy French fries. “Unfortunately, studies show that over eighty five percent of Americans no longer eat even one meal at home together every day” (Bond, 4). It is true, and what should the average Americans do about this problem? They should better choose what they eat. Eating the right food is like getting an A at school. If you eat right food you will most likely be healthy. If you are getting A’s at school, you will most likely be successful. Eating the right food will contribute to your healthy living. By making the right choices, you will help yourself avoid some very serious problems. Making poor choices like eating too much wrong food, increases your chances of developing cancer, heart disease, diabetes, digestive disorders and aging related loss of vision. An example for that is the obesity, which is a major health concern in the United States. “Obesity can be linked to some 300,000 deaths and $117 billion in health care costs a year” (Espejo, 11). This statistics is very scary and it shows us how serious can be the wrong choice of our food. If we want to live healthy, we have to eat right. Eating the right food is not a hard thing to do. We just have to know some basic rules.
One way to choose the right food is to follow the Food Guide Pyramid, developed by The Ivanova 2
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). More than one hundred years ago in 1894, the USDA published its first food guide, where the author, a nutritionist, introduced the idea of food groups. The five food groups defined in the food guide were milk and meat, cereals, fruits and vegetables, fats and fatty foods, and sugars and sugary foods. The guide made recommendations about eating food from each food group to remain healthy.
MyPyramid is the most recent food guide, designed to provide Americans with a wide variety of food recommendations that will promote their health. MyPyramid was a major revision of the Food Guide Pyramid. It was designed to illustrate recommendations found in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 released by the USDA in January 2005. MyPyramid is intended to help Americans choose the right food to eat. It is designed to help people learn how to eat a healthy diet and live an active lifestyle. The latest food pyramid makes recommendations in seven categories: grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, meat and beans, oils, discretionary calories, and Ivanova 3
physical activity. Each food category is a different color in the pyramid with different recommendations. The highest recommendation according to the pyramid is for grains, milk and vegetables. The lowest recommendation is for oils and meat. MyPyramid assumes that people will eat from all food categories. I have found that following MyPyramid is the simplest way of balancing my meals. It separates foods into groups and graphs the amount of each group needed in an average person’s diet.
The second way to choose the right food is to eat local and seasonal food. Eating local food has a lot of advantages. The shorter the distance that food travels from farm to table, the better. The long-distance transport of food requires more preservatives, packaging, refrigeration and fuel. By purchasing local foods in-season, you eliminate the environmental damage caused by shipping foods thousands of miles, your money spent on food goes directly to the farmer, and your family will be able to enjoy the health benefits of eating fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables. Eating locally...