Food Guide Pyramid
The Food Guide Pyramid is an outline of what to eat each day for good health.
The Pyramid is not a rigid prescription, but a general guide that lets people
choose a healthy diet that fits their lifestyle. The Pyramid is flexible,
practical, and visual. It is meant for healthy males and females, age two and
older. The Pyramid provides a range of servings from each food group. This
makes it flexible to fit all types and sizes of people.
The Pyramid calls for eating a variety of
foods. In this way, a person will get the nutrients needed for health
and the right amount of calories to maintain and improve weight. The Food
Guide Pyramid conveys three main messages. These are:
Eat a variety of foods in each group.
Balance food intake.
Eat in moderation by choosing foods that meet needs for calories, total
fat, cholesterol, sodium, and
The Pyramid also focuses on fat and sugar. This is because most American diets
are too high in fat, especially saturated fat and sugar. Foods in each food
group have different amounts of fat and sugar. Symbols in the Pyramid show the
groups that have more fat and sugar. This includes naturally occurring sugars,
such as those found in fruit, like fructose, and those found in dairy, like
lactose, as well as added sugars. The tip of the Pyramid shows foods that are
made mostly of fat and/or sugar.
Foods at the bottom of the Pyramid, where it is the largest, are foods that
should be eaten most often. Foods at the top of the Pyramid, where it is the
smallest, are foods that should be eaten in small amounts. All of the food
groups are needed for good health. Nutrients in each food group differ so one
group cannot be substituted for another.
Following the Food Guide Pyramid is an easy way to eat a healthy diet. By
eating a healthier diet a person can help maintain a healthy weight. This can
help protect against health problems such as heart disease and cancer.