Food Guide Pyramid (1992-2005)
Food Guide Pyramid
In the year 1992, the USDA introduced the food guide pyramid which differed from the previous guidelines in that it instructed the suitable portions of all the food groups.
The introduction of USDA’s food guide pyramid in 1992 attempted to express the recommended servings of each food group which previous guides did not do. It’s a triangular or pyramid shaped nutrition guide divided into sections to show the recommended intake for each food group.
Bread, Grains, Cereal and Pasta (At the base)
The fact that this group was on the bottom of the pyramid, clearly indicated that they were meant to be had in the most quantities. All these foods supply ‘complex carbohydrates’ – these carb’s are a very significant source of energy, in addition to being low fat. Consumption of 6 to 11 servings from this category is recommended, on a daily basis.
- A slice of bread.
- Half a cup of rice, cereal or pasta.
- A cup of ready to eat cereal
- A single flat tortilla.
Important: This category is healthy and low-fat only if you eat WHOLE GRAIN breads, cereals and pastas; due to the fact that they are less processed and hence maintain more helpful vitamins, minerals and fiber compared to their white counterparts (made with white flour). Thus, whole grains are recommended.
Fruits and Vegetables:
Fruits and vegetables come above the previous category. This meant, even this category was to be had in great quantities.
They are highly nutritious – most of them being rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, folate or potassium. As a rule, they are low in fat and sodium and extremely high in fiber. The food pyramid recommends 3-5 servings of vegetables, daily.
- A cup raw leafy vegetable.
- Half a cup of other cooked or raw vegetables.
- ¾ cup of vegetable juice.
As far as fruits are concerned, the food pyramid recommends consuming 2-4 servings, daily.
- 1 medium apple, orange or banana.
- Half a cup of chopped or cooked or canned fruit
- ¾ cup of fruit juice.
Important: ‘Juice’ doesn’t include bottled or canned juices – exclusively 100 % fresh, home-made juice is what is recommended. Juices that are bottled and canned tend to be loaded with sugar, fat, artificial flavoring/coloring and preservatives.
Moreover, it goes without saying, that fruit flavored soda does not come even come slightly close to being a ‘juice’.
Beans, Eggs, Lean Meat and Fish.
On top of fruits and veggies, comes meat, poultry and fish supply protein, iron and zinc. Moreover, other sources of foods such as dried peas, and beans also provide many of these nutrients. The food pyramid suggests 2-3 portions of cooked meat, fish and poultry. Each serving should be between 2-3 ounces. The following foods count as one ounce of meat,
- One egg
- 2 tablespoon of peanut butter.
- ½ cup cooked dry beans.
- 1/3 cup of nuts.
A product that contains milk supplies ample amount of protein and calcium. The food pyramid recommends 2-3 helpings, daily. People, such as: women who are breastfeeding or pregnant, as well as teenagers and young adults, are advised to have 3 servings, minimum. Opt to have non-fat versions of milk and yogurt and cheeses, particularly those derived from skim milk
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 cup milk.
- ½ cup low fat yogurt
Fats and Sweets:
Fats and Sweets are at the top of the pyramid. This is funny because, the top of the pyramid is the smallest, which reflects just how less you need, daily.
These foods ought to be consumed in moderation as they provide calories but not much in the way of nutrition. These foods include: oils, butter, margarine, salad dressings, cream, sugars, soft drinks, toffees, candies and desserts.