Food Guide Pyramid for Adults
The food guide pyramid, released on April 19, 2005 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is a visual aid to help you lead a healthy life. The new pyramid reveals that the key to a healthy lifestyle is balanced nutrition combined with physical activity.
The balanced nutrition principle of the new pyramid (My Pyramid) comes from the old pyramid (Food Guide Pyramid released in 1992). My Pyramid has five main food groups: bread and grains, vegetables, fruit, dairy, meat and beans. Color bands represent the recommended proportion of foods from each group. Fats, oils and sweets are no longer classified into a separate food group: it is simply recommended to limit the intake of solid fats and added sugars. The yellow band of My Pyramid symbolizes oils only.
Physical activity is a new element in the guidance system. My Pyramid reminds that adults should be active for at least 30 minutes a day; children and teens, for 60 minutes a day. Physical activity for 60-90 minutes a day may help you lose weight.
My Pyramid became easier to use: servings were replaced with cups and ounces. You no longer need to estimate how much food is in one serving. My Pyramid illustrates gradual improvement, activity, variety, moderation, proportionality and personalization.
Gradual improvement. The slogan of the pyramid is “Steps to a Healthier You”. It is obvious that you cannot become healthy at once. Improve your health gradually, slowly but steadily.
Activity. Physical activity is the key to a healthy lifestyle. The man climbing up the pyramid symbolizes the importance of exercises.
Variety. The six rainbow color bands represent the five food groups: orange for grains, green for vegetables, red for fruits, yellow for oils, blue for milk, and purple for meat and beans. You should include food from all groups in your diet.
Moderation. Each color band narrows from bottom to top. While foods from all groups are important for health, the wider base represents foods that should be selected more often.
Proportionality. All bands have their individual width, which shows the amount of food you should choose from each food group.
Food Guide Pyramid Servings
My Pyramid comes with twelve diet plans. These worksheets will help you follow the new nutrition guidelines. Choose the one designed for your calorie intake level. For more information on MyPyramid, visit MyPyramid.gov created by the United States Department of Agriculture.