Food Guide Pyramid
Including Picture of New Food Pyramid

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

Nutritional Needs, a Work in Progress

It's important to keep in mind that the nutritional recommendations for the Food Pyramid are continually changing.

They will do such whenever qualified health studies indicate that certain types as well as portions of foods support the body's state of health better than others.

Back in the early 1940's, the USDA recommended seven basic food groups - including one labeled "Butter and Fortified Margarine'.

That really difficult to get my mind around that because butter and margarine are so high in fat and yes, calories. However, almost 100 years ago, very little was known about the body's nutritional needs.

Here are the seven basic groups of that era:

One: Green, Yellow Vegetables
Two: Oranges, Tomatoes, Grapefruit
Three: Potatoes, Other Vegetables, Fruits
Four: Milk and Milk Products
Five: Meat, Poultry, Fish or Eggs
Six: Bread Flour, Cereals
Seven: Butter, Fortified Margarine

Picture: USDA Basic 7 Food GroupsProgression or Recession?

Slowly over time, the USDA migrated to the Pyramid version - and of course, now it's that dumbed-down My Plate which we don't like in the least.

It treats consumers like we idiots in our opinion. This is not a leap forward for man and womankind - rather a giant fall back to the caveman era where Og told Og Junior to eat all of the green leaves and other vegetables on his plate.

Modern Day Thinking Versus Logical Thoughts of the Past

Then the healthy pyramid was introduced - and in this era, there were Food Groups which were developed with recommended servings therein - something that you won't find in the My Plate version, thus leaving the impression that eating from each group three times per day will satisfy dietary needs - and nothing could be further from the facts.

Making Sense of the Confusion

If you're a little lady, you may only require the minimum of servings listed below - but even three plates per day with servings from each group isn't going to satisfy the Grain Group needs.


Food Guide Pyramid - Including Picture of Food Pyramid

What is a serving size based on the Food Pyramid Picture?

The Food Groups

Dairy - Milk, Yogurt & Cheese: 2-3
Vegetables : 3-5
Protein - Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs & Nuts: 2-3
Fruits: 2-4
Grains: Bread, Cereal, Rice & Pasta: 6-11
Fats, Oils & Sweets - Use Sparingly

What is considered a serving size based on the Food Pyramid Picture?

Milk Group

2-3 Servings

Beans & Meat Group

2-3 Servings

Vegetable Group

3-5 Servings

Fruit Group

2-4 Servings

Grain Group

6-11 Servings

Milk: 8 ounces

Meat: 2-3 ounces - about the size of a deck of cards

Raw Leafy Vegetables: 1 cup

Fruit Juice: 3/4 cup

Bread: 1 slice

Natural Cheese: 1 1/2 ounces

Peanut Butter: 2 Tablespoons - about the size of a golf ball

10 French Fries

Fruit, Sliced: 1/2 cup

Cereal, Dry: 1 cup

Yogurt: 8 ounces

Beans: 1 cup

Peas, most vegetables: 1 cup

Fresh Fruit: 1 medium

Pasta: 1/2 cup

Keep in mind that the servings and serving sizes recommended above by the USDA are intended as a pattern. The amount of foods consumed should be based on all of the following:

Age, Current State of Health, Risk Factors

Activity Level Based on Daily Activity

Muscle Mass

Special Needs such as pregnancy and dieting.

There are also other things that you can do to increase the nutritional benefits for each Food Group in the Food Pyramid such as choosing whole grains, wheat over white, natural cheese over cheese foods, lean meats over fatty meats and skim dairy products.

We are indeed what we eat and if we aim to eat those healthy foods set forth in the Food Pyramid Picture above, it increases our chances of a fuller, healthier, longer life.


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