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Nutrition Basics Index
The Food Guide Pyramid
The Food Guide Pyramid
The Food Groups
Putting It Together
What is a Serving?
Closer Look at Fats & Sugar
Rate Your Diet
Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Recommended Dietary Allowances
All about Vitamins
All about Minerals
Food Guide Pyramid
The following pages introduces you to The Food Guide Pyramid. The Pyramid illustrates the research-based food guidance system developed by National Research Council of the National Sciences Academies.

The Pyramid is based on research on what foods Americans eat, what nutrients are in these foods, and how to make the best food choices for you.

The Pyramid will help you choose what and how much to eat from each food group to get the nutrients you need and not too many calories, or too much fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sugar, sodium, or alcohol.

Following the Pyramid will help you keep your intake of total fat and saturated fat low. A diet low in fat will reduce your chances of getting certain diseases and help you maintain a healthy weight.

This guide will also help you learn how to spot and control the sugars and salt in your diet, and make lower sugar and salt choices.
Food Pyramid
A Guide to Daily Food Choices
What is the Food Guide Pyramid?
The Pyramid is an outline of what to eat each day. It is 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 or improve your weight. The Pyramid also focuses on fat because most Americans' diet are too high in fat, especially saturated fat.
Looking at the Pieces of the Pyramid
The Food Guide Pyramid emphasizes foods from the five major food groups shown in the three lower sections of the Pyramid. Each of these food groups provides some, but not all, of the nutrients you need. Foods in one group cannot replace those in another. No one food group is more important than another - for good health, you need them all.
Food Pyramid break-out
The small tip of the Pyramid shows fats, oils and sweets. These are foods such salad dressings, oils, cream, butter, margarine, sugars, and soft drinks. These foods provide calories and little else nutritionally. Most people should use them sparingly.
On the next level of the Food Guide Pyramid are two groups of foods that come mostly from animals: milk, yoghurt & cheese and meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs and nuts. These foods are for protein, calcium, iron, and zinc.
The third level includes foods that come from plants - Vegetables and Fruits. Most people need to eat more of these foods for the vitamins, minerals, and fibre they supply.
At the base of the Food Guide Pyramid are Bread, Cereal, Rice and Pasta group - all foods from grains. You need the most servings of these foods each day.
Look at the next section for further explanation of The Food Groups.

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