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The Food Pyramid was developed by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), as a way to help people understand how to eat healthy. If you're having trouble understanding the proper nutrients and serving sizes needed in your daily diet, print off a copy of the Food Pyramid and place it on your fridge.

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The Food Pyramid

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The Food Pyramid

The Food Pyramid was developed by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), as a way to help people understand how to eat healthy. If you're having trouble understanding the proper nutrients and serving sizes needed in your daily diet, print off a copy of the Food Pyramid and place it on your fridge.

Food pyramid (from bottom to top) includes:

Grains are products rich in fiber, vitamin B and minerals. Any food made from rice, wheat, oats, cornmeal, barley or cereal gain is considered a grain product. Grains are divided into 2 categories whole grains and refined grains. The USDA recommends a minimum of 3-ounces of whole grain products daily. Good sources of whole grain exist in 1 slice of 100-percent whole wheat bread or a ½ cup of whole wheat pasta, brown rice, oatmeal or whole grain cereals.

Vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories. Both vegetable and 100-percent vegetable juice contain a high concentration of potassium, dietary fiber, folic acid and vitamin A, C and E. Vegetables belong to one of five subgroups dark green leafy vegetables (bok choy, broccoli, spinach and dark green lettuce), orange vegetables (carrots, pumpkin and sweet potatoes), dry beans and peas (black beans, kidney beans, soy beans, split peas, tofu, etc.), starchy vegetables (corn, green peas and white potatoes) and others (cauliflower, celery, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and zucchini). A minimum of 2-cups of vegetables are required in an adult daily diet.

Fruits are Mother Nature's low-fat, low-sodium and low-calorie dessert. Consuming a variety of fruits each day provides a diet high in vitamin C, dietary fiber, potassium and folic acid. Eating or drink the equivalent of 2 cups of fruits per day is suggested for adults by the USDA.

Dairy this category includes any foods made from milk, such as cow's milk, yogurt, cheeses and cottage cheese. They're enriched with calcium, potassium, protein and vitamin D. However, keep in mind that this group contains some extremely high-fat foods such as butter, whole milk and ice cream. It's recommended that adults stick to sources of fat-free and low-fat dairy such as skim milk, fat-free yogurt and fat-free cottage cheese.

Meat and Beans include any meat proteins (pork and beef), poultry (chicken, duck, turkey and goose), fish, eggs, beans, peas, nuts and seeds. These are high in protein, vitamins B and E, and minerals like iron, zinc and magnesium. Experiment with different meats at every meal to get balanced nutrients. A 6-ounce portion is the daily recommendation.

Fats include liquid fats and solid fats. Liquid fats include oils such as cooking oils, fish oils and oils exacted from plants. Solid fats are commonly found in butter, margarine, shortening and lard or beef tallow. Oils such as flaxseed and olive oil contain essential fatty acids (or EFAs), which the body can't synthesize, but needs for normal metabolism. A daily allowance of 6-teaspoons of ...

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