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Thursday, December 12, 2013
What is MyPyramid?
MyPyramid replaces the 1992 Food Guide Pyramid. The food groups are now represented by a rainbow of vertical stripes in varying widths that correspond to six food categories: grains, vegetables, fruits, oils, dairy products, and protein sources (meat, beans, fish, & nuts). The figure on the steps implies (1) the importance of physical activity for a healthy lifestyle and (2) the need to make small changes . . . "step by step".
What is MyPyramid's message?
The MyPyramid translates the 2005 Dietary Guidelines into a diet that provides the essential nutrients, while limiting those nutrients that are often consumed in excess. The overall themes of MyPyramid are:
Variety – Eat a variety of foods from all food groups.
Proportionality – Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk products. Eat less foods that are high in saturated fats, trans fats, or cholesterol, such as whole milk, full-fat cheese, processed meats, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, and fried foods.
Moderation – Limit your intake of foods that contain saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, and salt.
Activity – Be physically active every day. Balance calorie intake from foods and beverages with calories expended.
How many calories should I eat everyday? How much of each food group should I eat?
The MyPyramid website is an interactive site that is loaded with useful information about diet and physical activity. Click on My Pyramid Plan to determine the recommended amount of calories and foods, based on your age, gender, and activity level. Click on Inside the Pyramid to learn more about specific foods that are included in each food group. Under Tips and Resources, you will find suggestions about how to choose and prepare healthy foods, as well as a sample menu. The MyPyramid Tracker is an online assessment tool that will evaluate your personal diet and activity patterns and compare them with the recommendations.
On the For Professionals page, there are links to a variety of professional resources and in-depth information about the recommendations and strategies for implementation. Also, there are colorful consumer materials that can be downloaded. These handouts contain recommended food patterns and worksheets for each of 12 calorie levels. Please take a few minutes to explore the MyPyramid website . . . it will be worth your time!
For more information about MyPyramid, visit the site Choosemyplate.gov.
Last Reviewed: Jun 03, 2009
Bonnie J Brehm, PhD, RD
Professor of Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati