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					The
Food Guide
Pyramid
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 United States   Center for                 Home and
 Department of   Nutrition Policy           Garden Bulletin
 Agriculture     and Promotion              Number 252
What’s in this booklet for me?                               What’s the Best
                                                             Nutrition Advice?

T
             his booklet introduces you to The
             Food Guide Pyramid. The Pyramid illus-
                                                               It’s following the             and reduce your chances
             trates the research-based food guidance         Dietary Guidelines for           of getting certain diseases.
             system developed by USDA and support-           Americans. These are sev-        These Guidelines, devel-
ed by the Department of Health and Human Services            en guidelines for a health-      oped jointly by USDA
(HHS). It goes beyond the “basic four food groups”           ful diet – advice for healthy    and HHS, are the best,
to help you put the Dietary Guidelines into action.          Americans 2 years of age         most up-to-date advice
                                                             or more. By following the        from nutrition scientists
   The Pyramid is based on USDA’s research on what
                                                             Dietary Guidelines, you          and are the basis of
foods Americans eat, what nutrients are in these foods,      can enjoy better health          Federal nutrition policy.
and how to make the best food choices for you.
   The Pyramid and this booklet will help you choose          THE DIETARY GUIDELINES FOR AMERICANS
what and how much to eat from each food group to get
the nutrients you need and not too many calories, or too     Eat a variety of foods to get    attack and certain types of
                                                             the energy, protein, vitamins,   cancer and to help you main-
much fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sugar, sodium, or
                                                             minerals, and fiber you need     tain a healthy weight.
alcohol.
                                                             for good health.
   The Pyramid focuses on fat because most Americans’                                         Choose a diet moderate in
diets are too high in fat. Following the Pyramid will help   Balance the food you eat         sugars. A diet with lots of
you keep your intake of total fat and saturated fat low.     with physical activity —         sugars has too many calories
A diet low in fat will reduce your chances of getting cer-   maintain or improve your         and too few nutrients for
tain diseases and help you maintain a healthy weight.        weight to reduce your            most people and can
                                                             chances of having high blood     contribute to tooth decay.
   This booklet will also help you learn how to spot
                                                             pressure, heart disease, a
and control the sugars and salt in your diet, and make       stroke, certain cancers, and     Choose a diet moderate in
lower sugar and salt choices.                                the most common kind of          salt and sodium to help
                                                             diabetes.                        reduce your risk of high
CONTENTS                                           Page                                       blood pressure.
The Food Guide Pyramid                                  2    Choose a diet with plenty of
                                                             grain products, vegetables,      If you drink alcoholic bever-
The Pyramid and You                                     8
                                                             and fruits which provide         ages, do so in moderation.
What is a Serving?                                     10
                                                             needed vitamins, minerals,       Alcoholic beverages supply
Fats                                                6, 12    fiber, and complex carbohy-      calories, but little or no
Cholesterol                                            15    drates, and can help you         nutrients. Drinking alcohol
Sugars                                              6, 16    lower your intake of fat.        is also the cause of many
Salt and Sodium                                        17                                     health problems and
The Food Groups                                        19    Choose a diet low in fat, sat-   accidents and can lead
  What Counts as a Serving, Selection Tips                   urated fat, and cholesterol      to addiction.
                                                             to reduce your risk of heart
The Pyramid Food Choices Chart                         25
How To Rate Your Diet                                  28
                                                                                                                          1
The Food Guide                                                                                       KEY
Pyramid                                                                                                 Fat (naturally occurring and added)

                                                                                                     w Sugars (added)
A Guide to Daily Food Choices
                                                                                                     These symbols show fat and
                                                                                                     added sugars in foods.


 Fats, Oils, & Sweets                                                   w
                                                                                                          KEY
 USE SPARINGLY                                                          w
                                                                            w                               Fat (naturally occurring   w   Sugars
                                                                        w
                                                                            w                               and added)                     (added)
                                                                                w
                                                                    w w  w
                                                                  w w   w  w                              These symbols show fat and
                                                                            w
                                                                w w   w w     w
                                                                                                          added sugars in foods.
                                                                   w     w w
                                                                       w
                                                            w        w    w
                                                                  w             w




 Milk, Yogurt,                                                                                                             Meat, Poultry, Fish,
                                                       w
 & Cheese                                                                                                                   Dry Beans, Eggs,
 Group                                                     w
                                                                                                                                & Nuts Group
 2-3 SERVINGS                                                                                                                    2-3 SERVINGS
                                                 w
                                                                    w



 Vegetable                                                                              w             w
                                                                                                                                           Fruit
 Group                                                                                                                                    Group
 3-5 SERVINGS                                                                           w
                                                                                                               w
                                                                                                                                   2-4 SERVINGS

                                                                                    w




                                  w                                                                           w                   Bread, Cereal,
                                                                                                 w
                                                                                                                                   Rice, & Pasta
                       w
                                                                                                                                          Group
                              w
                                                                                                                                            6-11
                                                                                                                   w
                                                                                                                                w
                                                                                                                                       SERVINGS
                              w




What is the Food                  guide that lets you choose                        and at the same time the           most American diets are
Guide Pyramid?                    a healthful diet that’s right                     right amount of calories to        too high in fat, especially
  The Pyramid is an               for you.                                          maintain or improve your           saturated fat.
outline of what to eat               The Pyramid calls for                          weight.
each day. It’s not a rigid        eating a variety of foods to                         The Pyramid also
prescription, but a general       get the nutrients you need                        focuses on fat because

2                                                                                                                                                    3
Looking at the Pieces
of the Pyramid
   The Food Guide Pyramid
emphasizes foods from the
five major food groups shown
in the three lower sections of                                            The small tip of the Pyramid shows fats, oils, and sweets.
                                                                   w
the Pyramid. Each of these                                        w
                                                                    w        These are foods such as salad dressings and oils, cream,
                                                                    w
food groups provides some,           USE SPARINGLY                w    w       butter, margarine, sugars, soft drinks, candies, and sweet
                                                                w w  w
but not all, of the nutrients                                 w w   w   w       desserts. These foods provide calories and little else
                                                                           w
                                                                       w
you need. Foods in one                                    w w
                                                             w
                                                                w
                                                                        w w
                                                                             w     nutritionally. Most people should use them sparingly.
                                                                 w
                                                               w
group can’t replace those in                          w     w           w     w

another. No one food group
is more important than                       2-3 SERVINGS              2-3 SERVINGS
another – for good health,                                                                   On this level of the Food Guide Pyramid are
you need them all.                           w                                                two groups of foods that come mostly from
                                                 w                                               animals: milk, yogurt, and cheese; and
                                                                                                   meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and
                                                                                                      nuts. These foods are important for
                                        w
                                                          w                                            protein, calcium, iron, and zinc.
                                       3-5 SERVINGS                                2-4 SERVINGS
                                                                                                              This level includes foods that come
                                                                                   w              w
                                                                                                                from plants – vegetables and
                                                                                   w
                                                                                                          w
                                                                                                                  fruits. Most people need to eat
                                                                                                                     more of these foods for the
                                                                                                                       vitamins, minerals, and
                                                                               w
                                                                                                                         fiber they supply.
                                                              6-11 SERVINGS

                                                                                         w            w
                                 w
                     w




                         w


                                                                                                          w
                         w                                                                                                   w




                                                                            At the base of the Food Guide Pyramid are breads, cereals,
                                                                            rice, and pasta — all foods from grains. You need the most
                                                                            servings of these foods each day.




4                                                                                                                                              5
                                                                                    and these foods can be         Added Sugars
A Closer Look at Fat                                                                prepared in ways that           w These symbols repre-
and Added Sugars                                                                    lower fat.                     sent sugars added to foods
                                                                                       Fruits, vegetables, and     in processing or at the
                                                                                    grain products are natu-       table, not the sugars found
                                         w
                                             Fats, Oils, and Sweets                 rally low in fat. But many     naturally in fruits and milk.
                                         w
                                        ww
                                        w w
                                       ww w
                                      ww w w
                                                                                    popular items are pre-         It’s the added sugars that
                                             w
                                     ww w w
                                   w
                                       w w ww w
                                       ww w    w                                    pared with fat, like french-   provide calories with few
Milk                                                                        Meat    fried potatoes or crois-       vitamins and minerals.
                               w
Group                                                                      Group    sants, making them higher         Most of the added sug-
                                    w
                               w                                                    fat choices.                   ars in the typical Ameri-
                                        w
                                                                                       For example:                can diet come from foods
Vegetable                                     w                             Fruit
Group
                                                           w
                                                                                                                   in the Pyramid tip—soft
                                                   w
                                                                           Group
                                                               w
                                                                                     ONE BAKED POTATO              drinks, candy, jams, jel-
                                                  w
                                                                                                                   lies, syrups, and table
                w          w                           w       w            Grain                                  sugar we add to foods
                                                                           Group                                   like coffee or cereal.
                w
                                              w                    w   w                                              Added sugars in the food
                                                                                                                   groups come from foods
K E Y:      Fat (naturally occurring and added) w Sugars (added)                                                   such as ice cream, sweet-
                                                                                                                   ened yogurt, chocolate milk,
                                            groups. That’s to remind                                               canned or frozen fruit with
                                            you that some food choic-                                              heavy syrup, and sweet-
                                                                                    Calories: 120
                                            es in these food groups                                                ened bakery products like
                                                                                    Fat: trace
                                            can also be high in fat or                                             cakes and cookies. The
                                            added sugars. When
                                            choosing foods for a
                                                                                               Or                  chart on page 16 shows you
                                                                                                                   the amounts of added sug-
                                            healthful diet, consider                 14 FRENCH FRIES               ars in some popular foods.
                                            the fat and added sugars                                               You may be surprised!
   As you can see, fat and                  in your choices from the
added sugars are concen-                    food groups, as well as the                                            Fat and Sugar Tips:
trated in foods from the                    fats, oils, and sweets from                                             Choose lower fat
Pyramid tip—fats, oils,                     the Pyramid tip.                                                       foods from the food
and sweets. These foods                                                                                            groups most often.
supply calories, but little                 Fat                                                                     Go easy on fats and sug-
or no vitamins and miner-                      In general, foods that                                              ars added to foods in cook-
als. By using these foods                   come from animals (milk                                                ing or at the table—butter,
sparingly, you can have a                   and meat groups) are nat-                                              margarine, gravy, salad
diet that supplies needed                   urally higher in fat than                                              dressing, sugar, and jelly.
vitamins and minerals                       foods that come from                                                    Choose fewer foods
without excess calories.                    plants. But there are many                                             that are high in sugars—
                                                                                    Calories: 225
   Some fat or sugar sym-                   lowfat dairy and lean                                                  candy, sweet desserts, and
                                                                                    Fat: 11 grams
bols are shown in the food                  meat choices available,                                                soft drinks.

6                                                                                                                                             7
                                                                  For young children                     are an active woman
How To Make the Pyramid                                              It is hard to know how              who needs about 2,200
Work for You                                                      much food children need                calories a day, 9 servings
                                                                  to grow normally. If                   of breads, cereals, rice, or
                                                                  you’re unsure, check with              pasta would be right for
                                Fats, Oils, and Sweets
                                USE SPARINGLY                     your doctor. Preschool                 you.You’d also want to
                                                                  children need the same                 eat about 6 ounces of
                                                                  variety of foods as older              meat or alternates per
Milk                                                      Meat    family members do, but                 day. Keep total fat (fat in
Group                                                    Group
                                                                  may need less than 1,600               the foods you choose as
                     2-3 2-3
                    SERVINGS SERVINGS                             calories. For fewer calo-              well as fat used in cooking
Vegetable                                                 Fruit   ries they can eat smaller              or added at the table) to
Group
                  3-5
                  SERVINGS
                                 2-4
                                 SERVINGS
                                                         Group    servings. However, it is
                                                                  important that they have
                                                                                                         about 73 grams per day.
                                                                                                            If you are between
                                                                  the equivalent of 2 cups of            calorie categories, esti-
                                                          Grain
                                                                  milk a day.                            mate servings. For
                                                         Group
                        6-11
                         SERVINGS
                                                                                                         example, some less active
                                                                  For you                                women may need only
                                                                     Now, take a look at the             2,000 calories to maintain
                                                                  table below. It tells you              a healthy weight. At that
How many servings             For adults and teens                how many servings you                  calorie level, 8 servings
are right for me?                        calories is              need for your calorie lev-             of breads would be
   The Pyramid shows a        1,600      about right for          el. For example, if you                about right.
range of servings for each    many sedentary women
major food group. The         and some older adults.               SAMPLE DIETS FOR A DAY AT 3 CALORIE LEVELS
number of servings that
                                                                                                     Lower        Moderate       Higher
are right for you depends                   calories is
on how many calories you      2,200         about right for
                                                                                                      about

                                                                                                    1,600 2,200 2,800
                                                                                                                     about         about


need, which in turn           most children, teenage
depends on your age, sex,     girls, active women, and             Grain Group Servings                 6             9             11
size, and how active you      many sedentary men.                  Vegetable Group Servings             3             4             5
are. Almost everyone          Women who are pregnant               Fruit Group Servings                 2             3              4
should have at least the      or breastfeeding may                 Milk Group Servings                 2-31          2-31          2-31
lowest number of servings     need somewhat more.                  Meat Group2 (ounces)                 5             6              7
in the ranges.
                                                                   Total Fat3 (grams)                  53             73            93
   The following calorie                  calories is
level suggestions are based   2,800       about right              Total Added Sugars4 (teaspoons) 6
                                                                   1
                                                                                                                      12            18
                                                                    Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, teenagers, and young adults
on recommendations of         for teenage boys, many
                                                                   to age 24 need 3 servings.
the National Academy of       active men, and some very            2
                                                                    Meat group amounts are in total ounces. (See pages 22 and 23 for
Sciences and on calorie       active women.                        details on how to count amounts of meat and other foods in this group.)
intakes reported by people                                         3
                                                                    See the Pyramid Food Choices Chart for details on how to count total fat
                                                                   (pages 25 to 27).
in national food consump-                                          4
                                                                    See chart on page 16 for details on how to count teaspoons of
tion surveys.                                                      added sugars.

8                                                                                                                                              9
                                                             Vegetable Group

                                                                                   Milk Group
What is a                      Bread Group                                                       ings from the five major
                                                                                                 food groups in the Food
Serving?                                                                                         Guide Pyramid. You
                                                                                                 need them for the vita-
   The amount of food                                                                            mins, minerals, carbohy-
that counts as a serving is                                                                      drates, and protein they
listed on the next page. If                                                                      provide. Just try to pick
you eat a larger portion,                                                                        the lowest fat choices
count it as more than one                                                                        from the food groups.
serving. For example, 1/2                                                                           To gain weight, increase
cup of cooked pasta                                                                              the amounts of foods you
counts as one serving in                                                                         eat from all of the food
the bread, cereal, rice, and   Do I need to                                                      groups. If you have lost
pasta group. If you eat 1      measure servings?             But be sure to eat at least         weight unexpectedly, see
cup of pasta, that would be       No. Use servings only as   the lowest number of serv-          your doctor.
two servings. If you eat a     a general guide. For mixed
smaller portion, count it as   foods, do the best you can    WHAT COUNTS AS A SERVING?
part of a serving.             to estimate the food group    Food Groups
                               servings of the main ingre-    Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta
Isn’t 6 to 11                  dients. For example, a
                                                               1 slice of bread        1 ounce of ready-      1/2 cup of cooked
servings of breads             generous serving of pizza                                  to-eat cereal          cereal, rice,
and cereals a lot?             would count in the grain                                                            or pasta
   It may sound like a lot,    group (crust), the milk
but it’s really not. For       group (cheese), and the        Vegetable
example, a slice of bread is   vegetable group (tomato);
                                                              1 cup of raw leafy        1/2 cup of other          3/4 cup of
one serving, so a sandwich     a helping of beef stew            vegetables            vegetables, cooked       vegetable juice
for lunch would equal two      would count in the meat                                  or chopped raw
servings. A small bowl of      group and the vegetable
cereal and one slice of        group. Both have some fat      Fruit
toast for breakfast are two    — fat in the cheese on the
                                                              1 medium apple,             1/2 cup of              3/4 cup of
more servings. And, if you     pizza and in the gravy from     banana, orange          chopped, cooked,           fruit juice
have a cup of rice or pasta    the stew, if it’s made from                              or canned fruit
at dinner, that’s two more     meat drippings.
servings. A snack of 3 or 4                                   Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese
small plain crackers adds      What if I want
                                                               1 cup of milk or         1-1/2 ounces of          2 ounces of
yet another serving. So        to lose or gain                     yogurt                natural cheese        process cheese
now you’ve had 7 servings.     weight?
It adds up quicker than           The best and simplest
you think!                     way to lose weight is to       Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts
                               increase your physical
                                                                2-3 ounces of            1/2 cup of cooked dry beans or 1 egg
                               activity and reduce the fat    cooked lean meat,             counts as 1 ounce of lean meat.
                               and sugars in your diet.        poultry, or fish        2 tablespoons of peanut butter or 1/3 cup
                                                                                           of nuts count as 1 ounce of meat.

10                                                                                                                                11
Fats                                fat—such as whole milk
                                    instead of skim milk. Or
                                                                      WHERE’S THE FAT?


                                    you may want to use it in
How much fat                        cooking or at the table in
can I have?                         the form of spreads, dress-
   It depends on your calo-         ings, or toppings.
rie needs. The Dietary
Guidelines recommend                How to check your
                                                                              bologna          = 16 grams
that Americans limit fat in         diet for fat
their diets to 30 percent of           If you want to be sure
calories. This amounts to           you have a lowfat diet,
53 grams of fat in a 1,600-         you can count the grams
calorie diet, 73 grams of           of fat in your day’s food
fat in a 2,200-calorie diet,        choices using the Pyramid
                                                                              cheese           = 12 grams
and 93 grams of fat in a            Food Choices Chart on
2,800- calorie diet.                pages 25 to 27, and com-
   You will get up to half          pare them to the number
                                                                            mayonnaise
this fat even if you pick           of grams of fat suggested
the lowest fat choices from         for your calorie level.                                    = 8 grams
each food group and add                You don’t need to count
no fat to your foods in             fat grams every day, but                                      36 grams or 9 teaspoons of fat
preparation or at the table.        doing a fat checkup once
   You decide how to use            in awhile will help keep          The fat in some foods adds up quickly. A bologna-and-cheese
the additional fat in your          you on the right track. If        sandwich made with 2 slices (2 oz.) of bologna, 2 slices (1-1/2 oz.)
daily diet. You may want            you find you are eating           of cheese, and 2 teaspoons of mayonnaise counts up to about 36
to have foods from the              too much fat, choose low-         grams of fat, about 9 teaspoons. However, a similar sandwich
five major food groups              er fat foods more often.          made with lean beef, lettuce, tomato, and lowfat mayonnaise, and
that are higher in                                                    served with a cup of nonfat milk instead of the cheese, has only
                                                                      about 6 grams of fat. Note: 4 grams of fat = 1 teaspoon

                                                   FAT
You can figure the                       IT                          Are some types of fat                tures of three types
number of grams of fat                                               worse than others?                   of fatty acids— saturated,
                                                          T
                                   M




                                                       %
                                         30
that provide 30% of
                                                            O




                                                                        Yes. Eating too much              monounsaturated, and
                               L I




calories in your daily                                               saturated fat raises blood           polyunsaturated.
diet as follows:
                                                                     cholesterol levels in many              Saturated fats are found
                                                                 S




                                                                     people, increasing their             in largest amounts in fats
A. Multiply your total
                                                             I E




                                                                     risk for heart disease. The          from meat and dairy prod-
                                O




day’s calories by 0.30 to
get your calories from fat per      F                                Dietary Guidelines recom-            ucts and in some vegetable
                                                          R




                                                                     mend limiting saturated              fats such as coconut, palm,
day. Example: 2,200 calories x 0.30
= 660 calories from fat.
                                             C A L O                 fat to less than 10 percent          and palm kernel oils.
B. Divide calories from fat per day by 9 (each gram                  of calories, or about one-              Monounsaturated fats
of fat has 9 calories) to get grams of fat per day.                  third of total fat intake.           are found mainly in olive,
Example: 660 calories from fat ÷ 9 = 73 grams of fat                    All fats in foods are mix-        peanut, and canola oils.

12                                                                                                                                      13
  Polyunsaturated fats are     your total fat within rec-     Cholesterol                     blood cholesterol levels in
found mainly in safflower,     ommended levels. (See                                          many people, increasing
sunflower, corn, soybean,      the table on page 9 for                                        their risk for heart disease.
and cottonseed oils and        the number of grams sug-       What about                      Some health authorities
some fish.                     gested at various calorie      cholesterol?                    recommend that dietary
                               levels.) Choose fat from a        Cholesterol and fat are      cholesterol be limited to
How do I avoid                 variety of food sources,       not the same thing.             an average of 300 mg or
too much                       but mostly from those          Cholesterol is a fat-like       less per day. To keep
saturated fat?                 foods that are higher in       substance present in all        dietary cholesterol to this
  Follow the Food              polyunsaturated or             animal foods—meat,              level, follow the Food
Guide Pyramid, keeping         monounsaturated fat.           poultry, fish, milk and         Guide Pyramid, keeping
                                                              milk products, and egg          your total fat to the
                                                              yolks. Both the lean and        amount that’s right for
Here are some                                                 fat of meat and the meat        you. (See table on page
selection tips:                 Read nutrition and           and skin of poultry con-        9.) It’s not necessary to
 Use lean meats and           ingredient labels on food      tain cholesterol. In milk       eliminate all foods that
skim or lowfat dairy           packages to check the          products, cholesterol is        are high in cholesterol.
products.                      kinds and amounts of fat       mostly in the fat, so lower     You can have three to
                               they contain.                  fat products contain less       four egg yolks a week,
                                                              cholesterol. Egg yolks and      counting those used as
                                                              organ meats, like liver, are    ingredients in custards and
                                         FAT...4 grams        high in cholesterol. Plant      baked products. Use lower
                                                              foods do not contain            fat dairy products often
                    SKIM                                      cholesterol.                    and occasionally include
                    MILK                                        Dietary cholesterol, as      dry beans and peas in
                               Limit use of prod-             well as saturated fat, raises   place of meat.
                               ucts that contain a
                               large amount of satu-
                               rated fats. Examples are
                               nondairy creamers and
 Use unsaturated veg-         rich baked products such
etable oils and margarines     as pie crusts and other pas-    WHERE’S THE CHOLESTEROL?
that list a liquid vegetable   tries, cakes, and cookies.                                                       cholesterol
oil as first ingredient on                                    Beef Liver                                            331mg
                                                              3 ounces, cooked
          the label.
                                                              Egg                                       213mg
                                                              1 yolk
                                                              Beef or Chicken            76mg
                  MA




                                                              3 ounces, cooked
                   RG
                     AR
                       INE




 OIL                                                          Whole Milk
                                                              1 cup
                                                                                     33mg

                                                              Skim Milk           4mg
                                                              1 cup

14                                                                                                                      15
WHERE ARE THE ADDED SUGARS?
Food Groups                             Added Sugars (teaspoons)
                                                                   Sugars                         Salt and
  Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta
                                                                   What about sugars?
                                                                                                  Sodium
  Bread, 1 slice                                            q0
                                                                      Choosing a diet low in
  Muffin, 1 medium                                          I1     fat is a concern for every-    Do I have to
  Cookies, 2 medium                                         I1     one; choosing one low in       give up salt?
  Danish pastry, 1 medium                                   I1     sugars is also important          No. But most people
  Doughnut, 1 medium                                      I I2     for people who have low        eat more than they need.
  Ready-to-eat cereal, sweetened, 1 oz.                   q q*     calorie needs. Sugars          Some health authorities
  Pound cake, no-fat, 1 oz.                               I I2     include white sugar,           say that sodium intake
  Angelfood cake, 1/12 tube cake                I I I I I5         brown sugar, raw sugar,        should not be more than
  Cake, frosted, 1/16 average                I I I I I I6          corn syrup, honey, and         2,400 mg. Nutrition labels
                                                                   molasses; these supply         also list a Daily Value
  Pie, fruit, 2 crust, 1/6 8” pie            I I I I I I6
                                                                   calories and little else       (upper limit) of 2,400 mg
                                                                   nutritionally.                 per day for sodium. Much
 Fruit
                                                                      To avoid getting too        of the sodium in people’s
 Fruit, canned in juice, 1/2 cup                            q0
                                                                   many calories from sug-        diets comes from salt they
 Fruit, canned in light syrup, 1/2 cup                 I I2        ars, try to limit your added   add while cooking and at
 Fruit, canned in heavy syrup, 1/2 cup             I I I I4        sugars to 6 teaspoons a        the table. (One teaspoon
                                                                   day if you eat about 1,600     of salt provides about
 Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese                                          calories, 12 teaspoons at      2,000 mg of sodium.)
 Milk, plain, 1 cup                                         q0     2,200 calories, or 18 tea-        Go easy on salt and
 Chocolate milk, 2 percent, 1 cup                    II     I3     spoons at 2,800 calories.      foods that are high in sodi-
 Lowfat yogurt, plain, 8 oz.                                q0     These amounts are              um, including cured meats,
 Lowfat yogurt, flavored, 8 oz.                   III   I   I5     intended to be averages        luncheon meats, and many
                                                                   over time. The patterns        cheeses, most canned
 Lowfat yogurt, fruit, 8 oz.               II     III   I   I7
                                                                   are illustrations of health-   soups and vegetables, and
 Ice cream, ice milk, or frozen yogurt, 1/2 cup     I   I   I3
                                                                   ful proportions in the         soy sauce. Look for lower
 Chocolate shake, 10 fl. oz.        IIII          III   I   I9     diet, not rigid prescrip-      salt and no-salt-added ver-
                                                                   tions.                         sions of these products at
 Other                                                                Added sugars are in         your supermarket.
 Sugar, jam, or jelly, 1 tsp.                        I1            foods like candy and soft         The table on page 18
 Syrup or honey, 1 tbsp.                         I I I3            drinks, as well as jams,       will give you an idea of the
 Chocolate bar, 1 oz.                            I I I3            jellies, and sugars you        amount of sodium in dif-
 Fruit sorbet, 1/2 cup                           I I I3            add at the table. Some         ferent types of foods.
 Gelatin dessert, 1/2 cup                      I I I I4            added sugars are also in       Information on food labels
 Sherbet, 1/2 cup                            I I I I I5            foods from the food            can also help you make
 Cola, 12 fl.oz.                    I I I I I I I I I9             groups, such as fruit          food choices to keep sodi-
 Fruit drink, ade, 12 fl.oz. I                                     canned in heavy syrup          um moderate.
                                 I I I I I I I I I I I12
                                                                   and chocolate milk. The
 *Check product label. I = 1 teaspoon sugar                        chart on page 16 shows
 Note: 4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon                               the approximate amount
                                                                   of sugars in some popular
                                                                   foods.



16                                                                                                                         17
                                                                         T    H   E     F   O   O   D     G   R   O   U   P   S


WHERE’S THE SALT?
Food Groups                                         Sodium, mg      Breads, Cereals,
  Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta
  Cooked cereal, rice, pasta, unsalted, 1/2cup            Trace
                                                                    Rice, and Pasta
  Ready-to-eat cereal, 1 oz.                            100-360
  Bread, 1 slice                                        110-175
  Popcorn, salted, 1 oz.                                100-420
  Pretzels, salted, 1 oz.                               130-880

 Vegetable                                                         Why are breads,                      Here are some
 Vegetables, fresh or frozen,                                      cereals, rice, and                   selection tips:
  cooked without salt, 1/2 cup                      Less than 70   pasta important?                      To get the fiber you
 Vegetables, canned or frozen with sauce, 1/2 cup       140-460       These foods provide               need, choose several serv-
 Tomato juice, canned, 3/4 cup                              660    complex carbohydrates                ings a day of foods made
 Vegetable soup, canned, 1 cup                              820    (starches), which are an             from whole grains, such as
                                                                   important source of energy,          whole-wheat bread and
 Fruit                                                             especially in lowfat diets.          whole-grain cereals.
 Fruit, fresh, frozen, canned, 1/2 cup                    Trace    They also provide vitamins,           Choose most often
                                                                   minerals, and fiber. The             foods that are made with
 Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese                                          Food Guide Pyramid sug-              little fat or sugars. These
 Milk, 1 cup                                                120    gests 6 to 11 servings of            include bread, english
 Yogurt, 8 oz.                                              160    these foods a day.                   muffins, rice, and pasta.
 Natural cheeses, 1-1/2 oz.                             110-450                                         (See the Pyramid Food
 Process cheeses, 2 oz.                                     800    What counts as                       Choices Chart on page 25
                                                                   a serving?                           for others.)
 Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts                    q 1 slice of bread                    Baked goods made
 Fresh meat, poultry, fish, 3 oz.                   Less than 90                                        from flour, such as cakes,
                                                                   q 1 ounce of ready-to-eat
 Tuna, canned, water pack, 3 oz.                             300                                        cookies, croissants, and
                                                                     cereal
 Bologna, 2 oz.                                              580                                        pastries, count as part of
 Ham, lean, roasted, 3 oz.                                 1,020   q 1/2 cup of cooked cereal,          this food group, but they
 Peanuts, roasted in oil, salted, 1 oz.                      120     rice, or pasta                     are high in fat and sugars.
                                                                                                         Go easy on the fat and
 Other                                                             Aren’t starchy                       sugars you add as spreads,
 Salad dressing, 1 tbsp.                                 75-220    foods fattening?                     seasonings, or toppings.
 Ketchup, mustard, steak sauce, 1 tbsp.                 130-230       No. It’s what you add to           When preparing pasta,
 Soy sauce, 1 tbsp.                                       1,030    these foods or cook with             stuffing, and sauce from
 Salt, 1 tsp.                                             2,325    them that adds most of the           packaged mixes, use only
 Dill pickle, 1 medium                                      930    calories. For example:               half the butter or mar-
                                                                   margarine or butter on               garine suggested; if milk
                                                                   bread, cream or cheese               or cream is called for, use
                                                                   sauces on pasta, and the             lowfat milk.
                                                                   sugar and fat used with the
                                                                   flour in making cookies.

18                                                                                                                                19
       T   H   E    F   O   O    D       G   R   O   U   P   S             T   H   E   F   O   O   D     G   R   O   U   P   S



 Vegetables                                                          Fruits




Why are vegetables                   j  starchy vegetables          Why are fruits                     Here are some
important?                           (potatoes, corn, peas);        important?                         selection tips:
   Vegetables provide vita-          j legumes (navy, pinto,           Fruits and fruit juices          Choose fresh fruits,
mins, such as vitamins A             and kidney beans,              provide important                  fruit juices, and frozen,
and C, and folate, and               chickpeas);                    amounts of vitamins A and          canned, or dried fruit.
minerals, such as iron and           j other vegetables             C and potassium. They              Pass up fruit canned or
magnesium. They are nat-             (lettuce, tomatoes, onions,    are low in fat and sodium.         frozen in heavy syrups
urally low in fat and also           green beans).                  The Food Guide Pyramid             and sweetened fruit juices
provide fiber. The Food               Include dark-green           suggests 2 to 4 servings of        unless you have calories
Guide Pyramid suggests               leafy vegetables and           fruits a day.                      to spare.
3 to 5 servings of these             legumes several times a                                            Eat whole fruits
foods a day.                         week—they are especially       What counts as                     often—they are higher in
                                     good sources of vitamins       a serving?                         fiber than fruit juices.
What counts as                       and minerals. Legumes          q a medium apple, banana,           Have citrus fruits,
a serving?                           also provide protein and         or orange                        melons, and berries
q 1 cup of raw leafy                 can be used in place of                                           regularly. They are rich
                                                                    q 1/2 cup of chopped,
  vegetables                         meat. (See the Pyramid                                            in vitamin C.
                                                                      cooked, or canned fruit
                                     Food Choices Chart on                                              Count only 100 per-
q 1/2 cup of other vegetables,                                      q 3/4 cup of fruit juice
                                     page 27.)                                                         cent fruit juice as fruit.
  cooked or chopped raw               Go easy on the fat you                                          Punches, ades, and most
q 3/4 cup of vegetable juice         add to vegetables at the                                          fruit “drinks” contain only
                                     table or during cooking.                                          a little juice and lots of
Here are some                        Added spreads or toppings,                                        added sugars. Grape and
selection tips:                      such as butter, mayonnaise,                                       orange sodas don’t count
 Different types of veg-            and salad dressing, count as                                      as fruit juice. (See the
etables provide different            fat. (See the Pyramid Food                                        Pyramid Food Choices
nutrients. For variety eat:          Choices Chart on pages 25                                         Chart on page 26.)
j dark-green leafy veg-              to 28 for more information
etables (spinach, romaine            on how to count fat.)
lettuce, broccoli);                   Use lowfat salad
j deep-yellow vegetables             dressing.
(carrots, sweet potatoes);



20                                                                                                                               21
       T   H   E   F   O   O   D     G   R   O   U   P   S


                                                                                         Here are some
 Meat,Poultry,                                                                           selection tips:
 Fish, Dry                                                         Lean                   Choose lean meat,
                                                                                         poultry without skin, fish,
 Beans, Eggs,                                                     Choices                and dry beans and peas
 and Nuts                                                            B E E F
                                                                                         often. They are the choic-
                                                                                         es lowest in fat.
                                                                    Roasts/Steaks:        Prepare meats in
                                                                       Round             lowfat ways:
Why are meat, poul-                What counts as a                     Loin             —Trim away all the fat
try, fish, and other               serving?                            Sirloin           you can see.
foods in this group                q Count 2-3 ounces of             Chuck Arm           —Broil, roast, or boil
important?                           cooked lean meat, poultry,                          these foods, instead of
   Meat, poultry, and fish           or fish as a serving.           P O R K             frying them.
supply protein, B vitamins,          A 3-ounce piece of meat                              Go easy on egg yolks;
                                                                    Roasts/Chops:
iron, and zinc. The other            is about the size of an                             they are high in choles-
                                                                     Tenderloin
foods in this group — dry            average hamburger, or                               terol. Use only one yolk
beans, eggs, and nuts —                                              Center Loin         per person in egg dishes.
                                     the amount of meat on
are similar to meats in pro-                                            Ham              Make larger portions by
                                     a medium chicken
viding protein and most              breast half.                                        adding extra egg whites.
vitamins and minerals.                                                V E A L             Nuts and seeds are
                                   q For other foods in this           All cuts
The Food Guide Pyramid                                                                   high in fat, so eat them in
                                     group, count 1/2 cup of        except ground
suggests 2 to 3 servings                                                                 moderation. (See the
                                     cooked dry beans or 1 egg
each day of foods from                                                                   Pyramid Food Choices
                                     as 1 ounce of lean meat. 2       L A M B
this group. The total                                                                    Chart on page 27.)
                                     tablespoons of peanut          Roasts/Chops:
amount of these servings
                                     butter or 1/3 cup of nuts
should be the equivalent                                                 Leg
                                     count as 1 ounce of meat
of 5 to 7 ounces of cooked                                              Loin
                                     (about 1/3 serving).
lean meat, poultry, or fish                                          Fore Shanks
per day.                              Counting to see if you
                                   have an equivalent of 5-7       CHICKEN
                                   ounces of cooked lean
                                                                  & TURKEY
                                   meat a day is tricky. Por-
                                                                  Light & dark meat,
                                   tion sizes vary with the
                                                                   without the skin
                                   type of food and meal.
                                   For example, 6 ounces
                                                                      FISH &
                                   might come from:
                                                                  SHELLFISH
                                   —1 egg (count as 1 oz. of
                                                                  Most are low in fat;
                                   lean meat) for breakfast;
                                                                   those marinated
                                   —2 oz. of sliced turkey in      or canned in oil
                                   a sandwich at lunch; and           are higher
                                   —a 3 oz. cooked lean
                                   hamburger for dinner.

22                                                                                                                23
      T    H   E   F   O   O   D     G   R   O   U   P   S



 Milk, Yogurt,                                                      The Pyramid Food
 and Cheese                                                         Choices Chart

                                                                        The following chart lists    that food group.
                                                                    commonly used foods in              You can use the food
                                                                    each food group and the          label to count fat in specif-
Why are milk                       Here are some                    amount of fat in each.           ic foods. Many labels on
products important?                selection tips:                  Only a few of the thou-          foods list the grams of fat
   Milk products provide            Choose skim milk and           sands of foods we eat are        in a serving.
protein, vitamins, and min-        nonfat yogurt often. They        listed. However, they will
erals. Milk, yogurt, and           are lowest in fat.               give you an idea of foods        How much is a
cheese are the best source          1-1/2 to 2 ounces of           from each food group that        gram of fat?
of calcium. The Food               cheese and 8 ounces of           are higher and lower in fat.        To help you visualize
Guide Pyramid suggests             yogurt count as a serving            The Food Guide Pyra-         how much fat is in these
2 to 3 servings of milk,           from this group because          mid symbol (v) next to the       foods, keep in mind that 1
yogurt, and cheese a               they supply the same             food item means that food        teaspoon (1 pat) of but-
day—2 for most people,             amount of calcium as 1           is one of the lowest fat         ter or margarine has 4
and 3 for women who are            cup of milk.                     choices you can make in          grams of fat.
pregnant or breastfeeding,          Cottage cheese is low-
teenagers, and young               er in calcium than most
                                                                    For this amount of food...              count this many...
adults to age 24.                  cheeses. One cup of cot-
                                   tage cheese counts as only       Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta Group
What counts                        1/2 serving of milk.             Eat 6 to 11 servings daily               Servings Grams of Fat
as a serving?                       Go easy on high fat          v Bread, 1 slice                              1            1
q 1 cup of milk or yogurt          cheese and ice cream.          v Hamburger roll, bagel, english muffin, 1    2            2
                                   They can add a lot of fat        Tortilla, 1                                 1            3
q 1-1/2 ounces of natural
                                   (especially saturated fat)     v Rice, pasta, cooked, 1/2 cup                1          Trace
  cheese                           to your diet.                    Plain crackers, small, 3-4                  1             3
q 2 ounces of process               Choose “part skim”             Breakfast cereal, 1 oz.                     1             *
  cheese                           or lowfat cheeses when           Pancakes, 4” diameter, 2                    2             3
                                   available and lower fat          Croissant, 1 large (2 oz.)                  2            12
                                   milk desserts, like ice milk     Doughnut, 1 medium (2 oz.)                  2            11
                                   or frozen yogurt.                Danish, 1 medium (2 oz.)                    2            13
                                                                    Cake, frosted, 1/16 average                 1            13
                                                                    Cookies, 2 medium                           1             4
                                                                    Pie, fruit, 2-crust, 1/6 8" pie             2            19
                                                                      *Check product label
                                                                                                                        (continued...)




24                                                                                                                                25
  For this amount of food...               count this many...        For this amount of food...                   count this many...
    Vegetable Group                                                    Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts Group
  Eat 3 to 5 servings daily                Servings Grams of Fat     Eat 5 to 7 oz. daily                        Servings Grams of Fat
v Vegetables, cooked, 1/2 cup                 1          Trace     v Lean meat, poultry, fish, cooked             3 oz*           6
v Vegetables, leafy, raw, 1 cup               1          Trace       Ground beef, lean, cooked                    3 oz*          16
v Vegetables, nonleafy, raw, chopped, 1/2 cup 1          Trace       Chicken, with skin, fried                    3 oz*          13
  Potatoes, scalloped, 1/2 cup                1            4         Bologna, 2 slices                            1 oz*          16
  Potato salad, 1/2 cup                       1            8         Egg, 1                                       1 oz*           5
  French fries, 10                            1            8       v Dry beans and peas,cooked, 1/2 cup           1 oz*        Trace
                                                                     Peanut butter, 2 tbsp.                       1 oz*          16
    Fruit Group                                                      Nuts, 1/3 cup                                1 oz*          22
  Eat 2 to 4 servings daily                                          * Ounces of meat these items count as
v Whole fruit: medium apple, orange, banana   1          Trace       See page 22 for how to count servings.
v Fruit, raw or canned, 1/2 cup               1          Trace
v Fruit juice, unsweetened, 3/4 cup           1          Trace         Fats, Oils, and Sweets
  Avocado, 1/4 whole                          1            9           Use sparingly
                                                                       Butter, margarine, 1 tsp.                     -            4
    Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese Group                                     Mayonnaise, 1 tbsp.                           -           11
  Eat 2 to 3 servings daily                                            Salad dressing, 1 tbsp.                       -            7
v Skim milk, 1 cup                             1         Trace         Reduced calorie salad dressing, 1 tbsp.       -            *
v Nonfat yogurt, plain, 8 oz.                  1         Trace         Sour cream, 2 tbsp.                           -            6
  Lowfat milk, 2 percent, 1 cup                1           5           Cream cheese, 1 oz.                           -           10
  Whole milk, 1 cup                            1           8           Sugar, jam, jelly, 1 tsp.                     -            0
  Chocolate milk, 2 percent,1 cup              1           5           Cola, 12 fl. oz.                              -            0
  Lowfat yogurt, plain, 8 oz.                  1           4           Fruit drink, ade, 12 fl. oz.                  -            0
  Lowfat yogurt, fruit, 8 oz.                  1           3           Chocolate bar, 1 oz.                          -            9
  Natural cheddar cheese, 1-1/2 oz.            1          14           Sherbet, 1/2 cup                              -            2
  Process cheese, 2 oz.                        1          18           Fruit sorbet, 1/2 cup                         -            0
  Mozzarella, part skim, 1-1/2 oz.             1           7           Gelatin dessert, 1/2 cup                      -            0
  Ricotta, part skim, 1/2 cup                  1          10           * Check product label
  Cottage cheese, 4 percent fat, 1/2 cup      1/4          5
  Ice cream, 1/2 cup                          1/3          7         What about alcoholic beverages?
  Ice milk, 1/2 cup                           1/3          3            If adults choose to drink, they should have no more
  Frozen yogurt, 1/2 cup                      1/2          2         than 1 to 2 drinks a day. Alcoholic beverages provide
                                                                     calories, but little or no nutrients. These standard-size
                                                                     drinks each provide about the same amount of alcohol.
                                                                       Alcoholic Beverages
                                                                                                                               Calories
                                                                       Beer, 12 fl. oz. (1 regular can)                          150
                                                                       Wine, dry, 5 fl. oz.                                      100
                                                                       Liquor, 1-1/2 oz.*                                        100
                                                                       *A mixer such as a soft drink will add more calories.

  26                                                                                                                                  27
How To Rate Your Diet                                        Step   3.
You may want to rate your diet for a few days.               Answer these questions:
Follow these four steps.                                      Did you have the number of servings from the five
                                                             major food groups that are right for you? (See page 9 to
                                                             determine the number of servings that are right for you.)
Step   1.                                                                                       Circle the
                                                                                                Servings
                                                                                                              Servings
                                                                                                                You
Jot down everything you ate yesterday
for meals and snacks.                  Grams of Fat                                           Right for You     Had
 ______________________________________    ______             Grain Group Servings            6 7 8 9 10 11
 ______________________________________    ______             Vegetable Group Servings            345
 ______________________________________    ______             Fruit Group Servings                234
 ______________________________________    ______             Milk Group Servings                  23
 ______________________________________    ______             Meat Group (ounces)                 567
 ______________________________________    ______            How did you do? Not enough? About right?
 ______________________________________    ______
 ______________________________________    ______             Add up your grams of fat listed in Step 2. Did you
 ______________________________________    ______            have more fat than the amount right for you?
 ______________________________________    ______            (See table on page 9.)
 ______________________________________    ______                                                Grams         Grams
 ______________________________________    ______                                             Right for You   You Had
 ______________________________________    ______             Fat                              53 73 93
 ______________________________________    ______            How did you do? Too much? About right?
 ______________________________________    ______
 ______________________________________    ______             Do you need to watch the amount of added sugars
 ______________________________________    ______            you eat? See the chart on page 16 to estimate the num-
 ______________________________________    ______            ber of teaspoons of added sugars in your food choices.
 ______________________________________    ______                                              Teaspoons      Teaspoons
 ______________________________________    ______                                             Right for You    You Had
 ______________________________________    ______             Sugars                           6 12 18
 ______________________________________    ______            How did you do? Too much? About right?
                                            Total
                                                             Step   4.
Step   2.                                                    Decide what changes you can make for a healthier diet.
Write down the number of grams of fat in each food           Start by making small changes, like switching to lowfat
you list.                                                    salad dressings or adding an extra serving of vegetables.
 Use the Pyramid Food Choices Chart to get an idea of       Make additional changes gradually until healthy eating
the number of grams of fat to count for the foods you ate.   becomes a habit.
 Use nutrition labels on packaged foods you ate to
find out the grams of fat they contained.



28                                                                                                                   29
For More Information
   Contact USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. The
address is:

   U.S. Department of Agriculture
   Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
   1120 20th St., NW
   Suite 200, North Lobby
   Washington, DC 20036-3475

   For additional advice on maintaining a healthy diet, you may con-
tact your county extension home economist (Cooperative Extension
System); or a nutrition professional in your local public health depart-
ment, hospital, Amercian Red Cross, dietetic association, or private
practice.

   Availability of Nutrition Information – Many USDA nutrition
publications may be purchased in single copies and bulk quantities
from the Consumer Information Center and the Government Printing
Office. For a list of available publications and ordering instructions,
contact the address above.

  Some nutrition materials, including this publication, the Food
Guide Pyramid graphic, and the Dietary Guidelines for Amercians
(HG-232), may be accessed through the CNPP Home Page (World
Wide Web) at: http://www.usda.gov/fcs/cnpp.htm

   The United States Department of Agriculture
(USDA) prohibits discrimination in its programs on the
basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, dis-
ability, political beliefs, and marital and family status.
(Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons
with disabilities who require alternative means for com-
munication of program information (Braille, large print,
audiotape, etc.) should contact the USDA Office of
Communications at 202 720 2791.

   To file a complaint, write the Secretary of Agricul-
ture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC
20250, or call 202 720 7327 (voice) or 202 720 1127
(TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity employer.

   Supersedes HG-249
   August 1992
   Slightly Revised
   October 1966

				
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