food pyramid

The Food Guide Pyramid (Food Pyramid) is a model of eating that was introduced in 1992 to help Americans make better food choices. The Food Pyramid divides foods into groups, which it displays in the shape of a pyramid to represent the number of servings of each group people need to eat each day; more servings at the bottom; fewer servings at the top.

At the bottom of the pyramid is the bread, cereal, rice, and pasta group, which makes up the largest proportion of the diet, at six to 11 servings a day. Just above that are the fruit (two to four servings daily) and vegetable (three to five servings) groups. The next level is the milk, yogurt, and cheese group (two to three servings), and the meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts group (two to three servings). At the pinnacle of the Food Pyramid are fats, oils, and sweets, which should be eaten sparingly.

The Food Pyramid includes the daily amounts of food people need at three different calorie levels; 1,600 calories (for sedentary women and older adults), 2,200 calories (for children, teenage girls, active women, and sedentary men), and 2,800 calories (for teenage boys, active men, and some active women).

In 2005, the Food Pyramid evolved into the MyPyramid system. This updated version maintained the pyramid design, but it was divided into vertical sections representing the five food groups, plus oils. MyPyramid turned out to be too complex, making it difficult for consumers to determine how much of each food they needed to eat.

In 2011, the USDA introduced MyPlate. This plate-shaped icon was designed to provide consumers with a simple visual reminder of how to create a balanced meal. The plate is divided into four sections: fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein, with a circle off to the side that represents dairy. Since its introduction, MyPlate has largely replaced the Food Pyramid as a guide to healthy eating.

3. A Delicious and Nutritious Plate

What you eat can mean the difference between feeling energized or depleted. It doesn’t mean you never can have a celebratory piece of chocolate cake or slice of gooey cheese pizza—it’s just not food to eat every day. Your body isn’t going to run optimally on meals loaded with high-fat … Read More

Complete Nutrition: Vegetables Are Essential

Vegetables have always had a reputation for boosting our health. Research continues to support the long-held standard that a vegetable-rich diet is a key part of any complete nutrition plan—and a winning approach to optimal health and disease protection. Research suggests that a vegetable-rich diet can lower your risk of … Read More

Healthy Desserts? Keep Your Focus on Nutritious Fruits

Fruits provide slow-digesting carbs, various types of fiber, and a host of vitamins, including A, C, E, and K plus several B vitamins. Fruits also provide many important minerals, including calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, and copper, along with a cornucopia of phytochemicals. Among plant foods, fruits are especially high in … Read More

Enter Your Login Credentials
This setting should only be used on your home or work computer.

×