The federal government has tossed out its one-size-fits-all food pyramid, replacing it with a dozen different food pyramids to guide Iowans toward healthier lifestyles. Mason City dietician Joy O’Donnell says the new guidelines are being welcomed by the health care community. O’Donnell says the new pyramid system better individualizes the recommendations and helps to narrow the focus so people know, based on their age, sex, weight and exercise routine, what they should be doing. The new food pyramids factor exercise into the diet, which O’Donnell says is an important new component. She says 30 minutes a day, most days of the week, is the base recommendation for physical activity. If you’re trying to prevent a gradual weight gain, boost that to an hour a day, while those Iowans who are trying to lose weight should work out 60 to 90 minutes a day. O’Donnell says even doing a little bit of exercise can be helpful. Even if it’s an extra ten minutes a day, it helps. O’Donnell says ten minutes here or there can also help throughout the day — it doesn’t have to be 30 or 60 minutes straight. For more information about the new food pyramid system, look on the Internet at “mypyramid.gov”.
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