The New Food Pyramid

The new food pyramid at breaks down foods into six groups: grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, meat and beans, and oils. Each group has foods that are better than others. For instance, whole grain bread is better than highly processed white bread. Oatmeal is better than sugary cereals. Whole fruit is better than juice.

In order of largest to smallest amounts that should be eaten daily, here are the food groups:

• Grains—Half the grains eaten daily should be whole grains. Eat at least three ounces of whole grain bread, cereal, crackers, rice, or pasta every day.

• Vegetables—Eat a variety of veggies in lots of colors for the most benefit, and eat more dried beans and peas.

• Fruits—Eat a variety, whether fresh, frozen, canned, or dried. Keep fruit juice to a minimum.

• Milk—Dairy products are important for calcium, which keeps bones strong, and other nutrients. Choose low-fat or fat-free milk, cheese, and yogurt. Other good sources of calcium are tofu, some dark green vegetables like broccoli, and calcium-enriched cereals and juices.

• Meat and beans—For lean protein, beans are unsurpassed. Choose lean meats and poultry. The best choice is a variety of fish, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds.

• Oils—Most fat should be from fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. Limit solid fats like butter, stick margarine, shortening, and lard. Avoid trans fats, which are fats manufactured by adding hydrogen to oils to make them solid. Look for the words "hydrogenated" or "partially hydro-genated" on the label. Trans fats are also a big contributor to heart disease.

Eating the right amounts of food is also important. Too many calories mean weight gain. Underestimating the number of calories in food is easy to do, particularly today when portion sizes have grown so large. Learning to closely estimate the correct portion size can be a great help in losing or maintaining weight as well as controlling blood sugar. For instance, the healthy adult portion for a steak is 3 ounces (0.1kg), or about the size of a deck of cards. One cup of salad greens is similar in size to a baseball. A half-cup serving of ice cream is the size of half a baseball.

One of the reasons Gladys Dull has done so well controlling her diabetes for many decades is because her mother helped her learn the correct portion sizes of the foods she ate. This is a skill that can be mastered, and one that is tremendously helpful for anyone wanting to maintain a healthy weight for a lifetime.

For people with diabetes, eating at the right times and coordinating insulin injections with food is also necessary. In general, they should eat the same amounts of food at the same times every day whenever possible. Since blood sugar is usually lowest upon waking up, eating a good breakfast after checking blood sugar levels is important.

People with type 1 diabetes should not skip meals because they always have insulin, which they have injected, in their bloodstream. Along with meals at regular times, a snack in

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