Basics of the Food Pyramid

The Food Pyramid has been substituted with the healthyeating plate.

When you were looking for a way to get a handle on healthier eating for your family years ago, the food pyramid was a guide to follow. It was easy for moms to understand. Following the food pyramid would give you a good basic foundation for proper nutrition.

The Pyramid

The Food Guide Pyramid was created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  It used color coding to separate the different types of foods that are recommended for you to eat. Much of its advice is still good today.

The pyramid could be customized to your dietary needs. One size doesn't necessarily fit all since no two people are alike.

The Pyramid Sections

  1. Grains - Strive to eat three servings of whole grain each day. That amounts to about three ounces. Whole grains contain all three parts of the grain: bran, endosperm and the seed. Be sure that "whole" comes before grain on the label.
  2. Vegetables - Can you eat six servings a day? You might have to get creative with it. Try a whole host of different vegetables for variety and flavor. Green leafy veggies will provide more mineral and vitamins like B, A and E.
  3. Fruits - Go for three servings each day. Fruit can be eaten fresh or in juice form. Juice won't stop your hunger or keep you full. Eating fresh fruit provides more fiber and vitamin C as well as better taste.
  4. Milk - It is fortified with vitamin D and provides calcium which is good for strong bones and keeping osteoporosis away. Go low fat or fat free with milk, cheese and yogurt. Those who are lactose intolerant can still get their calcium with substitutes like Lact-aid.
  5. Meat - Protein is important for building muscle tissue and repairing organs at the cellular level. Choose lean cuts of pork and chicken, but limit red meat.
  6. Oils - Consume very little if you can. Stick with unsaturated fats like olive oil and vegetable oils.

Knowing what you need to eat is the beginning of a better life. Mix in some exercise and you have a plan for long life.

Vegan food pyramid diagram.

The Food Pyramid has been substitutedwith the Healthy Eating Plate.