Big changes to food pyramid and daily exercise recommendation

Being healthy is a combination of a lot of life style choices. The biggest two lifestyle choices are exercising and eating well. The healthy lifestyle movement takes many forms with different diets and exercise regimens. But the standard has always been set: eat the recommended daily portions on the food pyramid and exercise at least 30 minutes a day to live a healthy life.

I do not want to rock your world, but those standards have changed. A new study came out saying that you only need 15 minutes to lead a healthy life, instead of the previous recommendation of 30 minutes. But that does not mean that you can slack off and drop down your work out schedule. Let’s be honest, the more you exercise, the better. But this study really shows that even a little bit of exercise can be beneficial and lead to a longer life.

Why is this a big deal? Many busy people, me included, push aside exercising because we feel like we are too busy to fit exercising in. After a long work day, dinner and clean up, it is almost time for bed. This makes if frustrating because it seems impossible to fit in an hour of exercise. But it is doable to sneak in 15 minutes or even a half hour, especially because it leads to a longer life.

But if you can, do not stop there. Each 15 minutes you exercise extra will increase your life expectancy and to reduce risk by four percent.

But exercise standards are not the only thing that changed. The food pyramid is no longer. As a child, I was introduced to healthy eating at elementary school through the food pyramid. The largest part of the triangle at the base was grains (which we were supposed to eat more of) and then meats, fruits and vegetables and so on. This pyramid has been the model for many diets and national guidelines for food. But in June the pyramid was disbanded and now it is considered the Food Plate. (This shocks my elementary school learning. Just like when they said that Pluto was not a planet anymore.)

Health officials feel like a plate is more simple and eye catching for people and easier for children to see. Essentially, instead of an abstract pyramid that just tells you what the suggested recommendation is, the plate will show the proportions of what you should eat as shown on a plate. Ideally, you would mirror your food portions on your own plate to the recommended Food Plate.

Do not take these two changes to too much heart. Every diet change and life style change is different to each person. Every body is different and requires different needs. Take for example the recommended intake of water. Each person weighs differently and eats differently, so the amount of water they need to be healthy varies.

But with any lifestyle change, whip out your health care insurance card and visit your doctor. That will give you the best plan to reach a healthy life style.