How's the food at Harvard

Harvard Diet: Eating According to the New Food Pyramid and the "Healthy Plate"

Eating what makes you healthy and leaving out what is harmful: with the results of the Harvard Nutrition Study, this is now much easier. Here I introduce you to the new nutrition pyramid of Harvard University, which classifies food according to its health value and show you the Harvard principle of the "healthy plate" as an aid for implementation in everyday life. In addition, I will give you examples of how I myself implement this nutritional principle in my everyday life. Get inspired!

Almost everyone knows that a "healthy diet" is important for health and a strong immune system. Many people are also aware that nutrition can be the "best medicine" and health prevention. But what is healthy and what is not and in "what amount" should you eat "what" ?!

In 2008, Harvard University presented the results of a large nutritional study with the aim of classifying foods according to their health benefits without being influenced by the grain, milk and sugar industries.

Unfortunately, this pyramid is not yet well known in Germany and the German Nutrition Society has not yet updated its pyramid to reflect the latest research. Here you can find out everything about the new food pyramid and the user-friendly principle of the "healthy plate".

Eat healthy according to the Harvard food pyramid

As Base of the pyramid - which I am presenting here translated into German - are becoming daily Exercise in the form of walking and sports, eating and drinking regularly as well as a regular weight control recommended.

By clicking on the graphic you can enlarge it:

In the 2nd level the pyramid are found Vegetable fruit (provide vitamins, minerals, fiber), good fats and oils (e.g. olive oil, and in my opinion also coconut oil to supply the body cells, the brain and as an energy source) and Whole grain cereals (lots of fiber, vitamins, minerals).

In the 3rd level become Nuts, seeds, beans and tofu as Fish, poultry and eggs for protein / protein supply.

In the 4th level find each other Dairy productsthat shouldn't be eaten very much and - interestingly - can also be replaced by a Food supplement with vitamin D and calcium.

At the Top of the pyramid stand the food that as rarely as possible should come on the table: red meat and butter, white bread, rice and pasta as well as food with too much Sugar and salt. These foods promote inflammation in the body and, among other things, upset blood sugar levels.

In addition, it is recommended Alcohol only in moderate amounts to consume and only if this is tolerable.

In addition - and this is new and exciting - it is pointed out that the presented healthy diet ADDITIONALLY through a multivitamin preparation and additional vitamin D (the sun vitamin - more on this in the blog article with tips for a strong immune system in the case of a cold and corona) should be supplemented. This has not yet been taken into account and is interesting because the subject of vital substances is still controversial and is considered important here.

In what proportions should you eat what?

Well, the food pyramid gives a good one Overview of the health value or harmfulness of the food, but in which Proportions shall we take them to us now?

To the Food pyramid "more suitable for everyday use" and "more applicable" to make this problem was also solved!

With the Principle of the "healthy plate", which has even been translated into different languages ​​by Harvard University itself, we have a useful tool for the Implementation in everyday life by the hand.

Click on the graphic to enlarge it!

The nutritional recommendations for a healthy plate from the Harvard website are quoted here one to one as follows:

(QUOTE from Harvard University on the Healthy Plate - is available there in German translation)

  • The healthy plate should consist primarily of vegetables and fruit - ½ of the healthy plate:

Pay attention to color and variety. As a reminder: Because of their unfavorable effect on the blood sugar level, potatoes are not considered a vegetable on the healthy plate.

  • Reach for whole grain products - ¼ of the healthy plate:

Whole grains - Whole wheat, barley, quinoa, oats, brown rice, and whole grains such as whole wheat pasta have a milder effect on blood sugar and insulin compared to white bread, white rice, and other highly processed grain products.

  • Proteins - ¼ of the healthy plate:

Fish, poultry, legumes, and nuts are healthy and versatile sources of protein. On the plate, these go very well with salads and vegetables. Limit the consumption of red meat (e.g. beef, pork) and avoid processed meat such as ham, mortadella and sausage.

  • Consumption of healthy vegetable oils - in moderation:

Choose healthy vegetable oils, such as olive oil, canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, and others. Avoid hydrogenated oils, which contain unhealthy trans fats. But note: low fat does not mean “healthy” at the same time.

  • Drink water, coffee or tea:

Avoid sugary drinks, limit the consumption of milk and dairy products to one or two servings a day, and limit the consumption of juice and juice spritzers to a small glass a day.

The red figure on the healthy plate illustration is a reminder that exercise is also important to control weight.

The main message of the healthy plate is the focus on the quality of the diet.

  • In the diet, the type of carbohydrate is more important than the amount, as some sources of carbohydrates, e.g. vegetables (potatoes are not included here), fruits, whole grains and pulses, are healthier than others.
  • The Healthy Platter also recommends avoiding sugary beverages, a major source of calories that are usually low in nutrients.
  • The Healthy Platter recommends the use of healthy oils, and no limit is set for the calorie content of healthy fat sources.

How I implement the new Harvard diet

From my point of view, the picture of the healthy plate shows very clearly what a balanced diet can look like.

Here are a few tips on how to do this in practice in everyday life, whereby I have to watch out for a few intolerances that some people naturally do not have:

In the morning

  • large glass of warm water: The very first thing I do in the morning is to turn on the kettle and fill a glass half with hot and half with cold water, which I drink completely. This wakes you up, detoxifies and gets the digestive system going!
  • Coconut willow butter coffee: I enjoy it for breakfast. To do this, I pour a freshly brewed cup of coffee into my electric milk frother, add 1 teaspoon of coconut fat and 1 teaspoon of willow butter (contains more omega-3 fatty acids) and turn on the device. The result is a creamy, aromatic coffee with a foamy crown - and all without milk. Healthy fat is good for the brain, concentration, energy supply and all of the body's cells. For the benefit! ;)
  • Blueberries: a handful for breakfast
  • Sheep cheese as a source of protein: I put seared sheep's cheese in the pan with a little vegetable spread on my flaxseed bun - that provides me with protein and keeps me full for a long time (since I don't tolerate cow's milk well, I consciously use sheep's cheese)
  • Multivitamin preparation, omega 3 fatty acids + vitamin D extra: Due to my health situation and because I think it makes sense, I take a good multivitamin, extra omega 3 fatty acids and generally vitamin D.

noon / evening:

  • Salad: Can be conjured up quickly with the meal
  • Linseed oil: drizzled on the salad and / or the food
  • Linseed: simply sprinkle 1 tbsp on the salad / food
  • Salmon / poultry
  • Rice pan with vegetables
  • Gnocchi pan with vegetables
  • changing spices and herbs, e.g. ginger, turmeric, rosemary, thyme


  • 1 piece fruit (if I could take nuts I would eat them too)
  • water
  • Green tea

My nutritional examples should not show you how you SHOULD do it, but rather show you how you CAN do it - even with restrictions on gluten, milk and nuts.

I hope it inspired you! :)

What do you think of the Harvard food pyramid and the healthy plate?

I hope that the nutritional information will help you to adjust your diet in a healthier way and encourage you to stay on the ball!

There is so many diseasesthat one by eating a healthy dietsave can while one at the same time more quality of life experienced.

Or what do you mean?

Please write a comment!

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