The Food Groups Simplified

The food pyramid was created many years ago and is occasionally updated by the United States Department of Agriculture.  If you haven’t checked it out for a while, you should know that it does change from time to time.

According to the food pyramid, an average adult should be getting certain minimum amounts of the various food groups.  So what are they?  See below:


Eat 6 ounces of grains every day, preferably whole grains.  To give you an idea of what an ounce is, 1 ounce is about 1 slice of bread, 1 cup of cereal, or 1/2 cup of cooked pasta or rice.


Eat 2.5 cups of vegetables every day.  Aim for dark green or colorful vegetables like broccoli, spinach, carrots, or sweet potatoes.


Eat 2 cups of fruit every day.  Watch out for fruit in fruit juice as sugar may be added.  Frozen, canned, and dried fruits are all OK.


Get 3 cups of calcium rich foods every day.  This can include milk, yogurt, or lactose free products as well.  Try to keep your options low fat or fat free.


Eat 5.5 ounces of meat and beans every day.  Again, you want low fat or lean proteins here.  Also include fish, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds in this group.


Many people eat too many processed grains and meat and fall short in vegetables, fruits, and calcium rich roods.  If this is true for you, try to better balance your diet according to the food groups.

The image of what to eat has been depicted in the new food plate to make this even easier.

Take the time to eat a variety of foods from each of the food groups for a healthy diet. Choose whole grains, colorful vegetables, fruits without added sugar, low fat dairy, and lean proteins to get the best from each of the food groups.

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