Building The 'Healthy Eating Pyramid'

The latest food pyramid,the Healthy Eating Pyramid, won't be the last, but for now, it may be the best. The pyramid shape to show what foods you should eat began when the Department of Agriculture created the Food Guide Pyramid in 1992.

Since then several pyramids have been added to the gallery to reflect the eating habits of different ages, ethnicities, and points of view about what makes a diet healthy (the Mediterranean diet).

The latest addition, called the Healthy Eating Pyramid, reflects the most current nutrition research available, according to its creators at Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School. The major difference between the new pyramid and the USDA's original one centers on the balance of carbohydrates and fats.

For a decade, doctors and food experts told people to eat more carbohydrates and avoid fats. But people in the United States and around the world have become obese at an alarming rate, leading researchers to question their nutritional advice. The Healthy Eating Pyramid breaks carbs and fats into good and bad, rather than lumping them together.

The new pyramid suggests other major changes as well, including:

€ Sharply restricting red meat, potatoes and refined grains, such as white bread

€ Limiting dairy products to one or two servings a day

€ Replacing unhealthy saturated fat with healthier unsaturated vegetable oils

€ Consuming large amounts of whole grains, fruits and vegetables

€ Taking a daily multivitamin

€ Drinking limited amounts of alcohol From The Mediterranean In many ways, the Healthy Eating Pyramid resembles an older pyramid developed by Oldways Preservation & Exchange Trust and the Harvard School of Public Health.

The Mediterranean Diet Pyramid was developed after researchers noticed that people who live in the Mediterranean area (Italy, Greece, Spain) had lower rates of obesity, heart disease and cancer than do most Americans. (Researchers caution that diet is only part of the story, that Mediterranean people eat less than the typical American and get more daily activity.) The typical Mediterranean diet, compared to an American one, is lower in saturated fat (animal fats from meat, whole milk and cheese); higher in monounsaturated fat (from olive oil); and places greater emphasis on vegetables, fruits and legumes.

Highlights of the Mediterranean pyramid:

€ Specific portions are not given. Instead, foods are to be eaten "daily," "a few times per week," or "a few times per month."

€ The foundation layer includes potatoes, polenta, couscous, bulgur and other grains. (The USDA lists only "bread, cereal, rice and pasta.")

€ Beans, legumes and nuts have a greater prominence, reflecting their status as a basic dietary staple.

€ Olive oil is emphasized by having its own layer in the middle of the pyramid.

€ Fish, poultry, eggs and sweets are to be eaten just a few times per week.

€ Red meat, at the top of the pyramid, is to be eaten just a few times per month.

€ Wine is recommended, in moderation.

Both the Healthy Eating Pyramid and the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid provide most Americans with a framework for choosing the proper balance of nutritious foods. If you're a vegetarian, you'll need to adapt your pyramid to be certain that you get enough protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals.

For Young And Old

Young children ages 2 to 6 have their own pyramid, similar to the USDA pyramid, but with pictures of foods that kids commonly eat. Serving sizes have also been altered to reflect the true eating habits of kids. Illustrations surrounding the pyramid show kids engaged in a variety of activities, stressing the importance of exercise -- or in this case, play -- in the lives of healthy children.

People older than age 70 also have their own pyramid. Scientists at Tufts University's USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging published a modified pyramid that addresses the special needs of older Americans. Differences from the original pyramid:

• The base of the 70+ pyramid recommends eight glasses of water per day. Although everyone should drink at least eight glasses of water daily, this needs to be emphasized for older adults because their bodies are less effective at alerting them to the need for water. Also, drinking plenty of water can help ease constipation, a common complaint of aging adults. If you take water pills (diuretics) check with your doctor if you regularly drink more than eight glasses of water per day. You may need to have your blood tested to make sure the serum sodium concentration does not get too low.

• The flag at the tip of the 70+ pyramid recommends supplements of calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12, vitamins many older adults find difficult to get in adequate amounts from food alone.

• The senior pyramid is also thinner than the standard one, suggesting that older people need to eat "slimmer," to cut down on calories by eating more nutrient-dense foods instead of higher-calorie items. Other Pyramids The Latin American Diet Pyramid places a heavy emphasis on fruits, vegetables, beans and grains. Red meat, sweets and eggs are to be eaten only occasionally. The Asian Diet Pyramid de-emphasizes dairy products and focuses on rice, grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.








Nautical Mile Eatery Offers Unique Elegance

In the heart of the Nautical Mile in Freeport, a unique seafood restaurant stands out -- 42 Woodcleft. Under new management, owners Raquel Wolf, Mitch Zackery, and Jay Jadeja, who is also the chef, said that they serve honest food for reasonable prices.

To whet your appetite 42 Woodcleft offers a delectable jumbo lump crab cake with coriander, cumin and mango chutney dressing drizzled on top. New England clam chowder with celery and thyme or French onion soup with a toasted baguette is also great for starters. There are several salads to choose from including a Greek or a pear salad with mesclun, poached pears, maytag blue cheese dressing with a balsamic drizzle.

For raw fish eaters, a delicious sesame crusted rare yellow fin tuna is a specialty on the menu served with yam mash, crispy spinach, pickled ginger, and wasabi in a soy glaze. Tuna tartar with ginger dressing topped with seaweed is another must try.

Popular entrees include, soft shell crabs, sea scallops, steamers and a 1lb. Skirt steak, which is served with mashed potatoes and fried onions. The honey-garlic glazed Tasmanian King salmon served with basmati rice is a rare delectable dish. The bar menu is also filled with several choices, such as baked clams, fried calamari, grilled sirloin with roasted yukons, fish 'n' chips, burgers and chicken sandwiches. Early bird dinners are $19.95 and are available from 3-6 p.m. daily. Every Tuesday evening is karaoke and a party room is available in the restaurant.

End your meal with a mouth-watering homemade dessert -- Doro¹s rice pudding, tiramisu, grandma¹s apple pudding or warm and fuzzy chocolate cake. 

"We want to maintain a friendly presence where locals can feel at home in a relaxing atmosphere," Wolf said.

Credit cards are accepted and weekend reservations are suggested.