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Upper Elementary Science - I
5.1 A Healthy Diet: The Food Pyramid


Your digestive system breaks down food so that your body can use the nutrients to keep you strong and healthy. But for your digestive system to do a good job, you need to give it good food to work with.

A food pyramid is big at the bottom and small at the top. The food pyramid is divided into four sections with different kinds of food in each section: the bigger the section, the more of that kind of food you should be eating. Most of all you need to eat grains, like bread, cereals, rice and pasta. You also need to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. You also need to eat foods that give you proteins. These foods include dairy products, like milk, cheese and yogurt. You also get protein from meat, fish, egg, and nuts.

The smallest section on the top of the pyramid includes fats, oils, and sweets, which means that we need very little of these. In fact, if you are eating the food shown in the bigger section of the food pyramid, you are already getting some fats and sugars. For example, if you are eating a hamburger, youíre getting some protein but youíre also eating a lot of fat, too. If you eat fried foods like french fries or chicken, you are eating a lot of fat along with the potatoes or the chicken. Thatís why the food pyramid says you should eat very few extra fats and sweets. Fats and oils include things like mayonnaise, salad dressing, and butter. Your body needs some fats or oils but just a little bit. Eating too much fat can do bad things like damaging your heart.

Sweets are hard too resist but be careful not to eat or drink too many sweets like soda pop, candy, cookies, cakes and ice cream. These foods are all made with sugar. Your body does need sugar for energy. But many of the good foods in the food pyramid, such as bread, already give your body good natural sugar. To keep your body strong and healthy, it is best not to eat many sweets or drink a lot of soda pop.


Directions: Answer the following questions.
Q 1: To be sure you are eating enough food that is good for you, you need to have a balanced diet with carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals.
False
True

Q 2: Protein products include _____.
milk, cheese and yogurt
bread, cereal, rice and pasta
fats, oils, and sweets
meat, fish, eggs, and nuts

Q 3: Your digestive system breaks down food so that your body can use the nutrients to keep you strong and healthy. But for your digestive system to do a good job, you need to give it a ____ food to work with.
strong
fatty
balanced
lot of

Q 4: In the food pyramid, the bottom section contains carbohydrates like _____.
meat, fish, eggs, and nuts
fats, oils, and sweets
milk, cheese, and yogurt
bread, cereal, rice, and pasta

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