The Food Guide Pyramid

A Guide to Daily Food Choices

Fats, Oils, and Sweets / Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese / Meat, Poultry, Fish, Beans, Eggs, and Nuts Vegetables / Fruits / Breads, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta

Select a section of the pyramid for details

The Food Guide Pyramid is an outline of what to eat each day based on the Dietary Guidelines . It's not a rigid prescription but a general guide that lets you choose a healthful diet that's right for you.

The Pyramid calls for eating a variety of foods to get the nutrients you need and at the same time the right amount of calories to maintain healthy weight.

Use the Pyramid to help you eat better every day...the Dietary Guidelines way. Start with plenty of breads, cereals, rice, pasta, vegetables, and fruits. Add 2-3 servings from the milk group and 2-3 servings from the meat group. Remember to go easy on fats, oils, and sweets, the foods in the small tip of the Pyramid.

What Counts as One Serving?

The amount of food that counts as one serving is listed below. If you eat a larger portion, count it as more thatn 1 serving. For example, a dinner portion of spaghetti would count as 2 or 3 servings of pasta.

Be sure to eat at least the lowest number of servings from the five major food groups listed below. You need them for the vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and protein they provide. Just try to pick the lowest fat choices from the food groups. no specific serving size is given for the fats, oils, and sweets group because the message is USE SPARINGLY.

Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese
1 cup of milk or yogurt1 1/2 ounces of natural cheese2 ounces of process cheese

Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts
2-3 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish1/2 cup of cooked dry beans, 1 egg, or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter count as 1 ounce of lean meat

Vegetable
1 cup of raw leafy vegetables1/2 cup of other vegetables, cooked or chopped raw3/4 cup of vegetable juice

Fruit
1 medium apple, banana, orange1/2 cup of chopped, cooked, or canned fruit3/4 cup of fruit juice

Bread, Cereal, rice, and Pasta
1 slice of bread1 ounce of ready-to-eat cereal1/2 cup of cooked cereal, rice, or pasta