Fuel Your Brain With the Right Food
The UC Irvine Health Education Center wants students to know what to eat to fuel their brains, and the list does not include coffee or energy drinks. Emily Bell, the nutrition and health manager at the Health Education Center, led an hour-long PowerPoint presentation detailing the new government-supported food pyramid and which foods to consume to best fuel your mind.
Bell’s presentation of the new food pyramid, titled the MyPyramid, made up the majority of her presentation, as the new system is a cornerstone of student health.
The MyPyramid is divided into vertical slices and presents information such as serving sizes and daily allowances of each food group. The switch in displayed information from the previously preferred serving size, as decided by food manufacturers to personalize the portions of food to eat, is in recognition of the increasing amount of food consumed by the average American daily. Since serving sizes vary between foods, the MyPyramid system focuses on determining the amount of food consumed per day in terms of cups for vegetables, fruits and dairy products and ounces for grains and meats.
Western diets typically favor grains and meat over fruit, vegetables and dairy. While Bell’s presentation did not discourage grains and meat, she emphasized making smart choices about the food groups and eating them in moderation. Half of a person’s grain servings should be whole grain; enriched grains have all the vitamins of whole grains but none of the fiber.
‘High-fiber foods fill you up for longer.