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The Reason for an Alternative
The Food Pyramid, which was recently updated, represents the government's dietary recommendations to its citizens and should therefore represent everything we know about proper diet and nutrition.
Many people, however, criticize the U.S. government's food pyramid. Agriculture is a very big business, and the wealth of entire industries depends in large part on what does or does not get put on to the food pyramid. For this reason, many people believe the food pyramid is influenced too much by political interests, and not enough by science.
In response to this, there are several alternative food pyramids that exist, one of which is the Anti-Inflammatory Pyramid.
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What to Eat
The base of the anti-inflammatory food pyramid is fruits and vegetables. A minimum of four to five vegetables a day and three to four fruits a day is recommended. Raw and lightly cooked are usually best, and eating a wide variety of strong colors is usually a good rule of thumb.
The next level on the pyramid is a multi-vitamin. Vitamins are an often overlooked part of a healthy diet, and a good multi-vitamin can fulfill many diet requirements that don't usually get met.
Above a good multi-vitamin there are good fats at five to seven servings a day. Good fats are found in certain oils, such as olive oil, in a wide variety of nuts, and some vegetables such as avocados also contain a high percentage of good fats.
Next on the anti-inflammatory food pyramid is a recommended two to six servings a week of fish and seafood, and above that, one to two servings a day of whole soy foods, which contain many excellent anti-oxidants.
Next, the pyramid recommends an unlimited amount of cooked Asian mushrooms, which significantly enhance the immune system, and above that, one to two servings a week of alternative sources of protein beyond fish, such as dairy, eggs, and lean meats.
Next on the anti-inflammatory pyramid is an unlimited amount of healthy herbs and spices, such as garlic or ginger, and above that, two to four cups of green, white, or oolong tea a day, which also contain excellent anti-oxidants. There is also an optional pyramid level of no more than one to two glasses of red wine a day, and the peak of the pyramid is reserved for healthy sweets, such as plain dark chocolate, which should be eaten sparingly.
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The Health Benefits
The theory behind the Anti-Inflammatory Pyramid is that such a diet will help to counteract all the chronic inflammation that builds up and is thought to be at the root of many serious health problems, particularly those that affect older people. As such, it is a diet not only for adults and older people, but young people too, who want to start thinking about their health for later in life sooner, rather than later.
To find out more about the Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid, go to the home page.