The food pyramid divides foods into different groups and shows which we should eat more often and which are only suitable for a healthy diet to a certain extent. The triangular structure with several levels illustrates the importance of the individual food groupsThe basis of the pyramid stands for the, what we should eat a lot ofand the top you will find the foods with which you moderately should handle. Colors are usually used for differentiation and also provide an indication of the quantities you should eat or drink. The focus is always on a balanced and healthy dietso that the essential protein building blocks and high-quality fats as well as vitamins and minerals. can be covered.
The aim is to facilitate the daily choice of foodby choosing what you want from each category and thus eating a varied and, if possible, seasonal and regional diet.
The classic food pyramid according to the DGE
The most well-known food pyramid is the one from the German Society for Nutrition (DGE)so let's look at this first before we look at alternative pyramids.
Structure of the classic food pyramid according to the DGE
- The basis: drinks
Drinks form the lowest level and therefore the basis. 1.5-2 liters of liquid depending on the weather and your sporting activity. Water or unsweetened tea is best. Sugary drinks do not belong in this category.
- The second stage: fruit and vegetables
This level includes Fruit and vegetables in all forms. Vegetables in particular are low in carbohydrates and calories and at the same time provide you with essential vitamins and minerals.
- The third stage: Cereals and potatoes
Bread, rice and pasta, also millet, green spelt, barley, oats and oatmeal contain lots of carbohydrates and are on the third level of the food pyramid according to the DGE. French fries, cookies, cakes, potato potato chips etc. with lots of sugar and/or fat do not belong in this group and are again at the top of the food pyramid.
- The fourth level: dairy products, meat, fish
On the fourth level of the pyramid are animal foods come into play. Milk and dairy products, fish and meat as animal foods are good sources of minerals and proteins. This food group provides high-quality protein, B vitamins and calcium.
- The fifth level: fats and oils
Fats and oils are important for our body, as so-called essential fatty acids cannot be produced by the body itself, but must be supplied through food. They are involved in the construction of cell membranes and control many vital processes in the body. The most important of these are high-quality oils rich in omega 3 such as algae oil or linseed oil are particularly important. Like olive oil, these should not be used for frying, but only added to the food afterwards.
- The top: sugary foods
Less is more: Sweets, chocolate, cakes, chips and potato chips are at the top of the food pyramid. They contain few vitamins and minerals and lots of calories. The same applies to soft drinks, cola and alcoholic drinks. You should only consume all of these in small quantities.
Figure: Classic food pyramid according to the DGE
Modification of the food pyramid according to the BZfE
The Federal Center for Nutrition (BZfE) has published its own nutrition pyramid to make the DGE recommendations a little easier to understand. The levels of the pyramids are the same, but additionally traffic light colors are used and a symbol for each food group. In addition, the portions are shown in the number of symbols. Here the measure for a portion is your own handso that the amount increases with age and the food pyramid can therefore be used for children and young people as well as adults. Small children, small hands - big "children", big hands.
Figure: Food pyramid according to BZfE
Development of the food pyramid according to DGE
The first food pyramid was 1972 by Anna Britt Agnsäter in Sweden published in Sweden, because due to rising food prices a cheap and yet healthy diet was required. The basis here was vegetables, some fruit, cereals and milk. Meat was reduced here for cost reasons.
In the USA, years later the Department of Agriculture Department of Agriculture mandated that nutritionists conduct scientific work on the relationships between nutrition and its influence on disease patternsand evaluate them accordingly. nutritional guidelines accordingly. These consisted of lots of vegetables and fruit (5-9 portions), protein-rich foods (150-200g), some dairy products (2-3 portions), 4 teaspoons of olive oil and a maximum of 2-3 portions of wholegrain cereals and no fast food, sweets or white flour at all. The Ministry of Agriculture has corrected these recommendations based on studies without giving reasons to: double the amount of cereals, without the reference to whole grains and generally changed to a low-fat diet, with sweets allowed in moderation.
The food pyramids were then based on these recommendations and the German Nutrition Society (DGE) has also adopted these recommendations. An entire brochure with reference values for nutrient intake was also drawn up on this basis, although these only relate to the metabolism of healthy people. In addition to body mass index and waist circumference, this also includes blood fat and blood sugar levels. According to studies only 11% of men and 19% of women can be classified as healthy for whom these nutritional guidelines can apply. It also states that at least 25% carbohydrates should be included in the diet to inhibit fat burning. This means that all those who do not want to lose weight should consume a lot of carbohydrates, namely at least 25%.
It is therefore necessary to rethink your own diet and it should be adapted to your goal.
A well-balanced low-carbohydrate diet, i.e. Low carb diet with lots of vegetables and high-quality fats is particularly suitable for those who are looking for a diet in which they, lose weight without going hungry without going hungry. Do you already know the LiveFresh food cleanse? Here you get the all-round carefree packageso that you can feel completely relaxed with less carbohydrates and vegan diet. The good thing is that the food cleanse specially compiled for weight loss was put together.
Food pyramid for the low carb diet
In food pyramids for the low carb diet, the first two levels are still the same as in the DGE pyramid. The basis is unsweetened drinks, followed by lots of vegetables and some fruit. On the third level of the low carb pyramid are protein sources such as eggs, meat, fish, pulses and plant-based meat alternatives based on plant proteins. If you like and can tolerate them, you can also eat and drink milk and dairy products. However, please note that many of these products have added sugar or naturally have a relatively high lactose content. Foods that less should be eaten include Cereal products, pasta, rice and potatoes. Rarely, however, should White flour products and sweets should be on the menu. The last two levels of this food pyramid cause blood sugar levels to rise and prevent fat from being broken downand after the meal we usually have more hunger and cravings. High-quality fats are essential for optimal satiety.
Figure: Low carb & vegan food pyramid
The low carb food pyramid can also be used for vegetarians and vegans by replacing the protein sources with plant-based alternatives.
Here you can find more information about the vegan food pyramid.
Your protein requirements
We often misjudge our protein requirements, but it is so important that we meet our cover our daily protein requirements. Protein has a variety of functions in our body and is essential for the maintaining and building muscles responsible. On average, an adult needs at least 1g protein per kilogram of body weight. For a 60 kg woman, this means 60 g of protein per day. 20g of protein can be found, for example, in 80g of uncooked lentils or 25g of pea protein powder. However, the protein requirement can be even higher during sporting activity.
Daily plan according to the nutrition pyramid for vegans
To make it easier for you to eat a balanced vegan diet, we have put together a daily plan for you.
Depending on your individual protein requirements, you may want to add a vegan protein shake for dessert.
If you want to make it even easier to eat according to the low carb food pyramid, try the LiveFresh food cleanse out. The meals are super quick to prepare, vegan, very tasty and specially designed for weight loss.
Frequently asked questions:
How is the food pyramid structured?
The food pyramid is structured in such a way that at the bottom are the foods that you should eat more often and in large quantities and further up towards the top are sweets, for example, which you should eat and drink rarely and in small quantities.
What are the names of the 8 food groups in the pyramid?
- Vegetables and salad
- Bread, cereals and side dishes
- Milk and dairy products
- Meat, sausage, fish and egg
- Fats and oils
- Extras such as cakes, sweets and snacks
What is the lowest level of the food pyramid?
The lowest level of the food pyramid is drinks, where you should mainly drink water and unsweetened tea.
What do the traffic light colors in the food pyramid mean?
The traffic light colors are often used in the food pyramid to indicate which food group should be eaten more and which less. For example, the base with drinks and then vegetables is highlighted in green and sweets are highlighted in red further up.