The Food Guide Pyramid

You must have noticed the food guide pyramid on food labels. The USDA and the DHHS designed this pyramid to be a flexible dietary guide for Americans. Each compartment contains a different food group and the recommended number of servings that should be consumed daily. The primary energy-providing nutrient (Chapter 2) found in each food group is written in parenthesis. See Figure 3-1.

Figure 3-1. Food Guide Pyramid

Fats, Oils & Sweets: use sparingly (Fats & added sugar)

Milk, Yogurt & Cheese Group: 2-3 servings (Proteins)

Vegetable Group: 3-5 servings (cho)

Figure 3-1. Food Guide Pyramid

Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs & Nuts Group: (Vegetarian substitutes: meat alternatives, legumes, nuts, seeds) 2-3 servings (Proteins)

Fruit Group: 2-4 servings (cho)

Bread, Cereal, Rice & Pasta Group: 6-11 servings

Although this Food Guide Pyramid is found on most food labels, many people are unsure how to use its information. The most common questions are about serving sizes and how many servings should be eaten. Often people overestimate the size of a serving, thereby eating more kcals than they anticipated. Table 3-1 gives an estimate of the amount of food per serving for each food group and Table 3-2 lists the number of servings required from each food group to meet the various total daily kcals shown in the left column. Look up the number of servings you need from each of the food groups to meet your Estimated Energy Requirements (EER, Worksheet 1-2).

Table 3-1. Portion Sizes Equivalent to a Serving

Food Group

Serving Size

Bread, Cereal, Rice,

1 slice of bread, 1/2 cup cooked rice or pasta, 1 oz.*

Pasta & Grains

breakfast cereal, 1/2 bagel.

Vegetables

1 cup leafy vegetables, 1/2 cup raw or cooked

vegetable, 3/4 cup vegetable juice.

Fruits

1 medium size fruit, 1/2 cup canned fruit, 3/4 cup of

100% fruit juice, 1/4 cup dried fruit.

Milk, Yogurt, & Cheese

1 cup milk or yogurt, 2 oz. cheese.

Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry

3 oz. lean meat, poultry, fish, 1 egg, 2 Tbsp*

Beans, Eggs, Nuts

peanut butter, 1/2 cup cooked beans.

Fats, Oils, Sweets

1 tsp* oil, 1 pat of butter, 1 Tbsp salad dressing or

sour cream.

Table 3-2. Suggested Servings Based on Total Daily Caloric Intake

NUMBER OF SERVINGS PER FOOD GROUP

Total Daily Kcals

Bread

Vegetables

Fruits

Meats

Milk

Fat grams

1,400

6

4

3

2

2

<47

1,600

7

5

4

2

2

<53

1,800

8

5

4

2

3

<60

2,000

10

5

4

2

3

<67

2,200

11

5

4

3

3

<73

2,400

12

6

5

3

3

<80

3,000

15

6

6

3

3

<100

Adapted from Navy Nutrition and Weight Control Self-Study Guide, NAVPERS 15602A 1996, p. 44.

Adapted from Navy Nutrition and Weight Control Self-Study Guide, NAVPERS 15602A 1996, p. 44.

5-A-Day

You may have heard of the national campaign to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables eaten by all Americans. This campaign, called "5-a-Day" has been adopted by all military services. Its purpose is to encourage people to eat at least five servings of fruits a+tt*r n*atth*

and vegetables each day. Following this program can add needed vitamins and minerals to your daily food intake; cut your risk of heart disease, cancer and digestive diseases; help control cholesterol; prevent constipation; and can help manage your body weight and percent body fat. Additionally, many fruits and vegetables contain "antioxidants" (see Glossary) and other nutrients that can be beneficial to your health. Some ideas to incorporate more fruits and vegetables in your diet can be found in Appendix A.

The Mediterranean Diet Meltdown

The Mediterranean Diet Meltdown

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