Government Unveils Revised Food Pyramid

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The new food pyramid icon

The new food pyramid icon represents the recommended proportion of foods from each food group a person should eat each day. Physical activity is a new element in the symbol. USDA hide caption

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture releases a new food pyramid, with more specific advice on portion sizes and calories. Part of the new food guidance system also will help people get individually tailored nutrition and exercise advice.

Decoding the New Pyramid:

  • Orange represents grains. The USDA recommends eating 5-8 ounces of grain per day depending on your age and gender. Of that amount, at least 3 ounces should be whole grain breads, crackers, pasta, cereals or rice.
  • Green represents vegetables. The USDA's dietary guidelines recommend 2½ cups of vegetables per day for people eating 2,000 calories a day, with higher or lower amounts depending on the calorie level. People are urged to select from all five vegetable subgroups (dark green, orange, legumes, starchy vegetables, and other vegetables) several times a week.
  • Red represents fruits. The latest dietary guidelines call for people to eat two cups of fruit a day.
  • Yellow represents oils. The USDA recommends getting most of your fat sources from fish, nuts and vegetable oils, and limiting solid fats like butter, stick margarine, lard and shortening.
  • Blue represents milk. The latest USDA dietary guidelines encourage consuming three cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent milk products every day.
  • Purple represents beans and meats. The USDA says people should choose lean meats and poultry, varying protein choices with more fish, beans, peas, nuts and seeds.



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