The New Food Pyramid for Healthy Living

A healthy lifestyle that incorporates physical activity is the basis of the new food pyramid. It recommends you get at least one hour of exercise a day to stay in shape and prevent illness
The New Food Pyramid for Healthy Living
Elisa Morales Lupayante

Reviewed and approved by the pedagogue in physical education and nutritionist Elisa Morales Lupayante.

Written by Okairy Zuñiga

Last update: 11 June, 2022

Today, we want to talk about the new food pyramid for a healthy lifestyle so you can follow it and improve your health.

You need to eat properly to stay healthy. The best way to achieve this is by consuming products from various food groups. You should also complement your diet with activities that benefit and strengthen your body, such as regular exercise.

The Spanish Society of Community Nutrition (SENC) has recently introduced some innovative and new dietary guidelines. It also made some modifications to the so-called “food pyramid” to help you lead a healthier lifestyle and improve your overall quality of life.

Have a Healthy Lifestyle: the Base of the New Pyramid

One of the biggest changes that was made to the existing food pyramid occurred at the base of it. This first step of the pyramid now recommends leading a healthy lifestyle by getting at least 60 minutes of exercise a day.

The basis for a healthy diet is to exercise regularly and keep a responsible weight. You can do any type of exercise you like. What’s important is that you keep your body in shape, improve your performance, and strengthen both your heart and immune system. This will help you prevent degenerative diseases.

When you exercise, it’s easier to avoid any dietary problems by maintaining a good energy balance. Be sure to give your body enough energy to perform all your activities.

If you’ve been eating too much or unhealthy foods, exercise will help you burn those extra calories. This will also prevent them from turning into fat.

Consume Foods from All the Food Groups

The second tier of the food pyramid encourages you to follow a diet that incorporates all the food groups. Whole grains, starches, and healthy carbohydrates are included here.

You should also be eating fruits and vegetables two to three times a day. These foods provide essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals, so you need to eat them on a regular basis.

We suggest choosing fruits for dessert over foods that are heavy with processed sugars and fats. Fruit will eliminate your craving for something sweet without harming your body or causing obesity and weight gain.

Dairy products should also be incorporated into your daily diet. If you’re lactose intolerant, you can opt for non-dairy substitutes. And if you’re watching your weight already, there are many low and non-fat versions.

Finally, white meats, chicken and fish are included, preferably cooked on the grill or with as little fat as possible. Supplement these with eggs and other vegetable protein sources.

Discover: Why You Should eat Eggs Several Times a Week

Occasional Indulgences

new food pyramid

At the top of the new food pyramid are the foods that should be consumed occasionally and only in moderation. These include red meats and sausages.

For these foods to be beneficial and not a setback for your diet you should avoid cooking them with fat. It’s always ideal to accompany them with vegetables and healthy fats.

Along the same lines, you can consume alcoholic beverages in a responsible manner. We already know that these drinks, such as red wine, white wine, and beer, can provide some benefits.

However, it’s best to leave them at one drink per week at the most. In addition, it’s always better to make sure you maintain good hydration before and after consuming alcohol.

Among the foods that should only be consumed very rarely are those that contain a large percentage of saturated fats and sugars. This is the case of donuts, ice cream, pastries, or snacks.

Nutritional Supplements

Food supplements are at the top of the new pyramid for healthy eating. In general, you should eat foods that are as diverse as possible so that your diet gives you what you need.

Nevertheless, it could be the case that you require extra help. Ask your doctor, as these supplements should be supplied under the guidance of a professional.

Supplements can help overcome deficiencies of essential nutrients. They shouldn’t be used to replace certain foods, however.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Wilkinson TJ., Shur NF., Smith AC., Exercise as medicine in chronic kidney disease. Scand J Med Sci Sports, 2016. 26 (8): 985-8.
  • Bron PA., Kleerebezem M., Brummer RJ., Cani PD., et al., Can probiotics modulate human disease by impacting intestinal barrier function? Br J Nutr, 2017. 117 (1): 93-107.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.