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Food Pyramid Food Pyramid
The Food Pyramid is a simple chart developed by the US Department of Agriculture to represent basic food groups that should be consumed daily... Food Pyramid

Today's Food Pyramid as made by the US Department of Agriculture

Today's Food Pyramid as made by the US Department of Agriculture.

The Food Pyramid is a simple chart developed by the US Department of Agriculture to represent basic food groups that should be consumed daily for optimum health. The pyramid is comprised of grains, vegetables, dairy products, oils, meats and beans and fruits, shown in the various amounts they should be eaten. According to the Food Pyramid, the most essential block of food, and therefore the largest part of a diet should be grains. Dairy and vegetables are next, followed by  fruits, meats and beans and finally oils.

The modern Food Pyramid, updated in 2005,  lists these categories sideways with the categories tapering off at the top. This is so that healthier foods in each category, ones with less sugar and added fat, can be listed at the bottom and foods from each category that are high in sugar and fat can be listed at the smaller end of the top of the pyramid to signify that less of these foods should be eaten.

The original Food Pyramid was created in 1992 to replace the out-dated food classification system. The first Food Pyramid listed food groups verticaly up a pyramid to represent the amounts of food that should be eaten, with grains at the bottom or largest part of the pyramid to represent the largest part of a healthy diet and acsending to oils at the top to represent the food group with the smallest intake for a healthy diet.

The original 1992 USDA Food Pyramid.

The original 1992 USDA Food Pyramid.

The Food Pyramid is the source of controversy because critics claim that certain food groups are bloated in the pyramid to keep farmers and ranchers in lucrative businesses. Some dietitians warn that the Food Pyramid allows for too much carbohydrates, meat and dairy products and not enough green vegetables. Although not perfect, the USDA Food Pyramid remains one of the best tools to setting a healthy 2000 calorie diet for most people.

For more information on the Food Pyramid, visit the USDA Food Pyramid Website at www.mypyramid.gov/.

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