General Practice 2022

Pirâfood measure: what é, what it is for and Brazilian version

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Pirâfood measure: what é, what it is for and Brazilian version
Pirâfood measure: what é, what it is for and Brazilian version
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The food pyramid is a graphic representation used to indicate which types and amounts of food should be consumed per day, being especially used by nutritionists. One of the goals of the food pyramid is to promote adequate body weight and increase the consumption of foods such as fruits, vegetables and legumes.

The distribution of food groups in the pyramid is done from the bottom up. Foods that should be consumed in greater amounts are at the bottom and those that should be eaten in lesser amounts are at the top of the pyramid.

However, the food pyramid was adapted to the Brazilian public and, over the years, has been replaced by other tools in some countries, as in the case of My Plate, which replaced the food pyramid in the United States, El Plato Del Bien Comer in Mexico, and the food wheel in Portugal.

What is it for

The food pyramid is one of the tools used by nutritionists and serves to promote proper eating habits and prevent the emergence of diseases such as obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. Learn the 9 benefits of he althy eating and how to do it.

This pyramid facilitates the visualization of the different groups, helping to choose he althier foods, encouraging a varied diet, increasing the consumption of fruits, vegetables and legumes and reducing the intake of foods rich in fat, sugar and s alt.

Brazilian food pyramid

The Brazilian food pyramid used the old North American pyramid as a base, and was adapted to Brazilian habits, food and culture. This adjustment to the Brazilian reality was important, as foods such as beans, which are widely consumed in Brazil, needed to be kept in a separate group, for example.

In addition to the recommendations for types of food, the Brazilian pyramid also suggests the practice of physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day, 7 times a week and having 6 meals a day, with breakfast, snacks morning, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner and supper.

With the new adaptations, the Brazilian food pyramid is divided into 4 levels and 8 food groups in total. Unlike the North American pyramid division, which had 4 levels and only 6 food groups.

Main food pyramid groups

The structure of the Brazilian food pyramid is divided into 4 levels that include 8 food groups:

  • First level: contains the group of cereals, tubers and roots;
  • Second level: contains the vegetable group and the fruit group;
  • Third level: contains the milk and dairy products group, the meat and eggs group and the pulses group;
  • Fourth level: contains the group of oils and fats and the group of sugars and sweets.

The food pyramid is subdivided into 8 groups and each group encompasses different types of food:

Group 1: cereals, tubers and roots

Foods that are part of this group are at the base of the pyramid and include breads, flours, pasta, rice, and tubers, such as cassava, potatoes and sweet potatoes. The consumption of whole grains, such as brown rice and wholemeal bread, should be prioritized, as these foods contain more fiber than refined ones. See more he althy whole grain options.

Recommended amount: The suggested intake is 5 to 9 servings daily.

Group 2: vegetables

Vegetables are part of the second level of the food pyramid, such as lettuce, tomato, pumpkin, zucchini and cabbage. Vegetables are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals and should preferably be consumed fresh.

Recommended amount: consumption of these foods should be 4 to 5 servings per day.

Group 3: fruits

Foods that are part of this group are fruits such as bananas, oranges, papayas, mangoes and tangerines, which are naturally sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber and should preferably be consumed raw, with the skin and avoiding cooking, making juices or sweets.

Recommended amount: the recommended intake for this group is 3 to 5 servings a day.

Group 4: milk and dairy products

This group is located on the third level of the pyramid and includes foods such as milk, cheese and yogurt, which are rich in protein and calcium. It is important to try to opt for lower fat versions, such as skimmed milk and white cheeses.

Recommended amount: it is recommended to eat 3 portions of these foods a day.

Group 5: meat and eggs

This group is made up of proteins of animal origin, such as beef, pork, poultry, eggs, fish, offal and offal. Animal proteins are rich in iron and vitamin B12 and it is important to prioritize white meats such as fish and chicken, as they have less fat.

Recommended amount: it is recommended to eat 1 to 2 servings of these foods a day.

Group 6: legumes

Pulses are widely consumed in Brazil and are sources of vegetable protein and fiber. The foods in this group are beans, peas, chickpeas, soybeans, fava beans and peanuts.

Recommended amount: the suggested consumption of these foods is 1 serving per day.

Group 7: oils and fats

Although important for the body, oils and fats are very caloric and should be consumed in moderation and, therefore, are at the bottom of the pyramid. Foods in this group are margarine or butter, olive oil and other vegetable oils.

Recommended amount: Suggested intake is 1-2 servings per day.

Group 8: sugars and sweets

Foods in this group, such as honey, ice cream, chocolates and refined sugar should also be eaten in moderation, as they are high in calories and have few vitamins and minerals that are important for the body.

Recommended amount: the recommended intake is a maximum of 2 servings per day.

How to eat he althy

To help with he althy eating, the Ministry of He alth created the Food Guide for the Brazilian Population. Among the recommendations, the manual explains that in natura foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and yogurts should be prioritized, and the consumption of high-fat foods, such as margarine and vegetable oils, and ultra-processed foods, such as stuffed biscuits, package, soft drinks and instant noodles.

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