The Food Pyramid

The food pyramid provides us with a guide breaking down the various food groups into different categories

Food Pyramid

Food Pyramid Guidelines

1) Discretionary Calories, i.e. (Fast carbs.)

  • Better suited to extremely active individuals (Restrict to 200-300 calories / daily max.)
  • Need to take into account extra calories already consumed in sports drinks, energy bars, sugar, etc…
  • Better choices include – angel cake, jams & sorbet, sports and energy drinks, white bread
  • Other examples – alcohol, cakes, pudding, etc…

2) Healthy Fats

  • 2-4 portions a day
  • Sources rich in Omega 3 & 6’s (oily fish, pumpkin seeds, almonds, avocado, olive oil, etc…)
  • Oily fish is very rich in essential fats so restrict excess intake

3) a) Protein rich foods

    • 3-5 portions a day
    • Quantity of protein consumed to be increased as quantity of exercise is increased
    • Protein supplements can also be counted as part of daily target (not to replace meals!)
    • Examples – chicken & turkey, eggs, lean beef & pork, seafood, beans & lentils + dairy foods

b) Calcium rich foods

  • 2-4 portions a day
  • Help with regeneration of bones, which intern provides strong base through which muscles can develop
  • Examples – dairy products, nuts, pulses & tinned fish

4) Grains & unrefined carbs

  • 3-5 portions a day
  • Diet rich in whole grain foods maintain high glycogen (stored carbs) levels, which help fuel intense workouts
  • Consumption to be relevant to volume of training as excess intake, which is not utilised for fuel or broken down as energy release, is stored in the body as Fat
  • Healthier choices – Wholemeal / brown bread, quinoa, rice, cous cous, sweet potato,

5) Fruits & vegetables

  • 4-6 portions a day (Larger portion of veg with 1-2 portions of fruit only, dependant on activity levels)
  • Contain daily required vitamins & minerals, fibre and antioxidants that are vital for health, body’s immune system and fuelling performance
  • Examples – Asparagus, broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, spinach + Apples, black & blue berries, grapefruit mango, peaches
  • Although fruit contains natural sugars; excess consumption, that our body is unable to process, is converted to fat