Your Guide to Healthy Eating
The Food Pyramid Your Guide to Healthy Eating Food contains different healthful substances. In order to get all the necessary nutrients (vitamins, minerals, protein, fat, carbohydrates, etc) and other healthful substances (fiber, cancer fighting substances) necessary to be healthy, it is important to eat a variety of foods. The food Guide Pyramid is an easy way to build a base to a healthy diet.
Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta Group
Bread, Cereal, Rice, & Pasta Group This group forms the base (bottom) of the pyramid. A strong base is a sign of a healthy pyramid. More foods are necessary from this group than any other group on the pyramid. You should eat 6 to 11 servings a day. What counts as 1 serving? 1 slice of bread 1 tortilla 1/2 a cup cooked rice, pasta or cereal 1 ounce ready to eat cereal 1/2 hamburger roll, bagel or English muffin 3-4 plain crackers (small) 1 pancake (4-inch) 1/2 croissant (large) 1/2 doughnut or Danish (medium) Why is this group important? These foods give you the energy you use to learn and play. Choose whole grains, such as whole wheat breads or oatmeal, because they give you fiber. 6-11 Servings 6 to 11 servings
Vegetables 3 to 5 Servings
Where on the pyramid? This group is located in the middle of the pyramid. What counts as 1 serving? 1/2 cup chopped raw or cooked vegetables 1 cup raw leafy greens 3/4 cup vegetable juice 1/2 cup scalloped potatoes 10 French fries Why is this group important? Vegetables give you the vitamins and minerals that you need to grow healthy and keep well. They are also a good source for fiber. The green and orange colors of vegetables tell you to expect a burst of nutrition. 3 to 5 Servings
Fruit Where on the pyramid? This group is located in the middle of the pyramid. What counts as 1 serving? 1 piece of fresh fruit or melon 3/4 cup of 100% fruit juice 1/2 cup chopped, cooked or canned fruit 1/4 cup dried fruit Why is this group important? Fruits are refreshing and fun. They give you the energy, vitamins, and minerals to grow and stay healthy. 2 to 3 servings
Milk, Yogurt, Cheese Group
Where on the pyramid? This group is located near the top of the pyramid, so try not eat too many servings from this group. What counts as 1 serving? 1 cup of milk or yogurt 1 1/2 ounces of natural cheese 2 ounces of processed cheese (like American cheese) 2 cups cottage cheese 1 1/2 cups ice cream or ice milk 1 cup frozen yogurt Why is this group important? This group builds strong bones and teeth. 2 to 3 servings
Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs & Nuts Group
Where on the pyramid? This group is located near the top of the pyramid, so try not eat too many servings from this group. What counts as 1 serving? 2 1/2 to 3 ounces of cooked lean beef, pork, lamb, veal, poultry or fish Count 1/2 cup cooked beans or 1 egg or 2 tablespoons peanut butter or 1/3 cup nuts as 1 ounce of meat Why is this group important? These foods help you build muscle and many other body parts. 2-3 servings
Fats, Oils & Sweets Use sparingly Fats, Oils & Sweets Use Sparingly
Where on the pyramid? This group is the smallest group and it is located at the top of the pyramid. You should try to limit the amount of food that you eat from this group. Many of the foods we eat from other groups contribute to this group. What counts as 1 serving? use sparingly Why is this group important? Your body needs some fat to help work, but be careful because to much fat can be a health problem. Use sparingly
Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Eat a variety of foods Balance the food you eat with physical activity- maintain or improve your weight Choose a diet with plenty of grain products, vegetables, and fruits Choose a diet low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol Choose a diet moderate in sugars Choose a diet moderate in salt and sodium If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation Eat a variety of foods to get the energy, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber you need for good health. Balance the food that you eat with physical activity maintain or improve you weight to reduce chances of having high blood pressure, heart disease, a stroke, certain cancers, and most common kind of diabetes Choose a diet with plenty of grain products, vegetables, and fruits which provide needed vitamins, minerals, fiber, and complex carbohydrates, and can help you lower your intake of fat. Choose a diet low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol to reduce risk of heart attack and certain types of cancer and to help you maintain a healthy weight. Choose a diet moderate in sugars. A diet with lots of sugars has too many calories and too few nutrients for most people and can contribute to tooth decay. Choose a diet moderate in salt and sodium to help reduce your risk of high blood pressure. If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation. Alcoholic beverages supply calories, but little to no nutrients. Drinking alcohol is also a cause of many health problems and accidents and can lead to addiction.
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