The Food Pyramid is a set of dietary guidelines issued by the USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy, revised in 2005, and published as an interactive tool in the Food Guide Pyramid website. The guidelines give science-based advice on food and physical activity choices for health.
The following information is extracted from MyPyramid Print Materials:
Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley or another cereal grain is a grain product. Bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and grits are examples of grain products.
Guidelines: eat at least 3 oz of whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice. or pasta every day.
For a 2,000-calorie diet: eat 6 oz every day.
Any vegetable or 100% vegetable juice counts as a member of the vegetable group. Vegetables may be raw or cooked; fresh, frozen, canned, or dried/dehydrated; and may be whole, cut-up, or mashed.
Guidelines: eat more: dark green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and other dark leafy greens; orange vegetables like carrots and sweetpotatoes; dry beans and peas like pinto beans, kidney beans, and lentils.
For a 2,000-calorie diet: eat 2½ cups every day.
Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts as part of the fruit group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut-up, or pureed.
Guidelines: eat a variety of fruit. Choose fresh, frozen, canned, or dried fruit. Go easy on fruit juices.
For a 2'000-calorie diet: eat 2 cups every day.
Milk, yogurt, and cheese group
All fluid milk products and many foods made from milk are considered part of this food group. Foods made from milk that retain their calcium content are part of the group, while foods made from milk that have little to no calcium, such as cream cheese, cream, and butter, are not. Most milk group choices should be fat-free or low-fat.
Guidelines: choose low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, and other milk products. If you can't consume milk, choose lactose-free products or other calcium sources such as fortified foods and beverages.
For a 2,000-calorie diet: get 3 cups every day (2 for kids aged 2 to 8).
Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts group
All foods made from meat, poultry, fish, dry beans or peas, eggs, nuts, and seeds are considered part of this group. Dry beans and peas are part of this group as well as the vegetable group. Most meat and poultry choices should be lean or low-fat. Fish, nuts, and seeds contain healthy oils, so choose these foods frequently instead of meat or poultry.
Guidelines: choose low-fat or lean meats and poultry. Bake it, broil it, or grill it. Vary your protein routine - choose more fish, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds.
For a 2,000-calorie diet: eat 5½ oz every day.
Know the limits on fats, sugars, and salt (sodium)
Make most of your fat sources from fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.
Limit solid fats like butter, margarine, shortening, and lard, as well as foods that contain these.
Keep saturated fats, trans fats, and sodium low.
Choose food and beverages low in added sugars. Added sugars contribute calories with few, if any, nutrients.