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Building Your Diet Menu Using the Food Pyramid

Written by Diet Bites


American Food Pyramid Daily Recommended Food Group Servings

The USDA Food Pyramid recommends the following servings from the five official food groups:

Fats, Oils & Sweets: Use sparingly.

Dairy:(Milk, Yogurt, Cheese) - 2 to 3 servings per day.

Vegetables: 3 to 5 servings per day.

Proteins: (Beef, fish, lamb, beans, eggs, chicken) 2 to 3 servings per day.

Fruits: 2 to 4 servings per day.

Grains: (Bread, cereal, brown rice, pasta) 6 to 11 servings per day.

Daily Recommended Calories From Food Groups, Based on Average 2000 Calorie Daily Eating Plan

While dieting, this is how the dieter might break down the calorie allotment if the dieter's weight loss plan is based on calories:

  Modern Weight Loss - The Food Pyramid & Your Diet ProgramDairy: 250 calories

  Modern Weight Loss - The Food Pyramid & Your Diet ProgramVegetables: 200 calories

  Modern Weight Loss - The Food Pyramid & Your Diet ProgramProteins: 350 calories per day

  Modern Weight Loss - The Food Pyramid & Your Diet ProgramFruits: 250 calories per day

  Modern Weight Loss - The Food Pyramid & Your Diet ProgramGrains: 300 calories

Right off the bat, if you are familiar with calories, you can already see some big problems for those trying to lose weight.

Dairy Food Challenges for Dieters

Example #1: Whole milk contains 160 calories per cup. If Dieter Judy drinks 3 cups per day, her calorie count spikes to almost 500 calories.

Grain Food Challenges for Dieters

Example #2: According to the USDA Food Pyramid, Dieter Judy should eat a minimum of 6 servings from the Grain Family.

Bread weighs in at about 100 calories per slice -  with gourmet breads totaling 150 calories or more per slice.


Even based on the measly 100 calories, Dieter Judy is now up to 1,100 calories - and that's just counting her bread and milk.

Let's pause to summarize.

Decrease in Calories, Challenge to Add Sufficient Essential Vitamins & Minerals

Diet Bites - Heart Smart Due to the need to decrease calories for weight loss, dieters are presented with the problems of being able to eat enough food calories to feel full while still at a level low enough to produce weight loss, and being able to intake the recommended serving sizes from all the food groups without going over their calorie allotment for weight loss.

Daily Multi-Vitamin May be 'Healthful' for Dieters

Diet Bites - Heart Smart Because nutrition plays a big role in the weight loss battle, dieters might do well to take a daily multi-vitamin as a safety net.

Exercise is Key

Diet Bites - Heart Smart   Exercise suddenly becomes a key player in the weight loss battle. Exercise helps to burn off calories so the dieter can eat a bit more while dieting.  See what a dieter's menu might look like based on the USDA Food Pyramid

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