Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Are dietary guidelines meant to be followed strictly?"
Is the food pyramid the end all be all of food guidelines?
The food pyramid is simply meant to be a rough guideline to how to eat healthy. More important than the specific number of servings, for example, that you eat a day are the general concepts. For example, you should rarely add sugar to your foods or eat sweets and you should eat fats, especially saturated fats in great moderation. Also, the food pyramid concepts need to be modified if there are any underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes, as these obviously affects what you can eat and in what proportions. Also, remember that the food pyramid and related nutritional guidelines are only part of a healthy lifestyle. Equally important to eating well is also maintaining an active lifestyle. For example, 30-60 minutes of aerobic exercise most days of the week is recommended. If you have additional questions about good nutrition or a healthy lifestyle, you should feel free to talk to your primary care doctor, who is an expert in these things. At the same time, many clinics also have a nutritionist on staff, and if you are looking for more specific guidelines and recommendations about what you should be eating, you might look into setting up an appointment with them.
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