The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005, gives science-based advice on food and physical activity choices for health. To see the full 80-page Dietary Guidelines report, click here.
What is a "Healthy Diet"?
The Dietary Guidelines describe a healthy dietas one that
One size doesn't fit all
USDA's new MyPyramid symbolizes a personalized approach to healthy eating and physical activity. The symbol has been designed to be simple. It has been developed to remind consumers to make healthy food choices and to be active every day. The different parts of the symbol are described below.
Activity is represented by the steps and the person climbing them, as a reminder of the importance of daily physical activity.
Moderation is represented by the narrowing of each food group from bottom to top. The wider base stands for foods with little or no solid fats or added sugars. These should be selected more often. The narrower top area stands for foods containing more added sugars and solid fats. The more active you are, the more of these foods can fit into your diet.
Personalization is shown by the person on the steps, the slogan, and the URL. Find the kinds of amounts of food to eat each day at MyPyramid.gov
Proportionality is shown by the different widths of the food group bands. The widths suggest how much food a person should choose from each group. The widths are just a general guide, not exact proportions. Check the Web site for how much is right for you.
Variety is symbolized by the 6 color bands representing the 5 food groups of the Pyramid and oils. This illustrates that foods from all groups are needed each day for good health.
Gradual improvement is encouraged by the slogan. It suggests that individuals can benefit from taking small steps to improve their diet and lifestyle each day.
Listed below are the approximate amounts that count as one serving.
Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese
Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts
Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta
No specific serving size is given for the use of fats, oils, and sweets group because they should be USED SPARINGLY and intake should be limited.
Try to meet all the recommended serving size amounts listed above. Your body needs them for the vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and protein they supply.
Remember, the Food Pyramid is not a rigid prescription, but a valuable reference to help you eat healthy and increase the quality of your life.
When choosing a healthy diet, follow the Food Pyramid guidelines developed by USDA and HHS. Simply select the suggested number of servings from the five basic food groups above. These groups are:
A sixth group (fats, oils and sweets) consists mostly of items that are pleasing to the palate, but high in fat and/or calories; these should be eaten in moderation or intake should be limited.