The Food Guide Pyramid

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The food pyramid is a way for Americans to read up on how to eat healthily. A rainbow of colored vertical stripes represents the five food groups plus fats and oils. This is what the colors stand for:

orange = grains

green = vegetables

red = fruits

yellow = fats and oils

blue = milk and milk products

purple = meat, beans, fish and nuts

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) modified the pyramid in early 2005 because they wanted to better explain to Americans how to be healthy. The agency later released a special variant for children. On this website you see a girl climbing the stairs on the side of the pyramid. This is an example of teaching children the importance of moving and being active every day. From a different perspective, play a lot! The stairs are also a way to show that you can make incremental changes to be healthier. One step at a time, got it?

The pyramid speaks to us in different ways. Let’s all confront some of the additional themes this new symbol tries to convey:

A person should eat a wide variety of foods. A balanced diet is one that utilizes all food groups. From another perspective, you should eat foods of every color every day.

We should eat less of some foods and more of others. You can see that the bands for meat and protein are purple and oils are yellow and less pronounced than the others. The reason is that you need fewer of these types of foods than fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy products.

Your family can also see that the bands start out thicker and get thinner as they near the top. This is to show you that not all foods are as good as others, even within a healthy food group like fruit. Sometimes apple pie is in this thin section of the fruit band because it’s high in sugar and fat. A whole apple would show up in the broad part because you can eat more of it in a healthy diet.

We should all personalize nutrition. Through the USDA’s MyPyramid website, families can get personalized recommendations about the nutrient mix they need and how much they need to eat. There is also a children’s version of the site. To better understand how the food pyramid can be applied, gain access to super food seminars and interviews with famous raw food authors[[[[

Thanks to David Skul

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