Wednesday, December 1, 2010

MyPyramid - The Food Guide Pyramid Made Simple


MyPyramid is a simple guide, based on the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, that is designed to help you plan balanced meals and snacks. MyPyramid is divided into 5 parts. Each part represents one of five basic food groups. By choosing foods from each of these groups and eating the recommended portions everyday, you will be able to get most or all of the nutrients that you need for optimum health.

The Five Basic Food Groups

Here are the five basic food groups from MyPyramid along with the recommended intake for each group.

Grains. Choose from a variety of breads, cereals, crackers, rice and pasta. Make at least half of your daily intake whole grains. 1 serving of grain is about 1 slice of bread, 1 cup breakfast cereal or 1/2 cup of cooked rice, cereal or pasta. Actual portions may vary, particularly with breakfast cereals. Eat 6 servings per day.

Vegetables. Choose from dark leafy greens, such as spinach, kale and collard greens, beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, cabbage, asparagus, tomatoes, green beans, and the wide range of other vegetables available to you. Eat 2-1/2 cups per day.

Fruits. Choose from apples, mangoes, papaya, pomegranate, pears, peaches, cantaloupe, grapes, strawberries, pineapple, blueberries, kiwi, watermelon and many others. Eat 2 cups per day.

Milk and other dairy (or calcium-rich substitutes). Choose reduced fat milk, cheese, yogurt and/or other milk-based products. If you are unable to use dairy, consider soy milk and other foods fortified with calcium. Drink 3 cups per day. (2 cups for children ages 2 to 8)

Meat, fish, poultry and other protein-rich foods. Choose lean meat, poultry and fish. Also, dried beans and peas, nuts and seeds. Eat 5-1/2 ounces per day.

Note: Portions shown and recommended intakes are based a 2000-calorie diet for adults. You will need to make adjustments for young children. Additionally, if you are trying to lose weight (or gain), you will also need to adjust your intake accordingly. Need help? Talk to a registered dietitian.


MyPyramid incorporates the guidelines outlined in the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which include staying physically active, keeping within calorie limits and limiting the amount of fats, added sugars and salt (sodium) that you consume. Take these steps to a healthier you, starting right now.

Resources - Inside the Pyramid

Dietary Guidelines for Americans: Current Guidelines - 2005 Dietary Guidelines