Nutrition Information - US Dept of Agriculture
Information for Vegetarians
British Nutrition Foundation
Harvard School of Public Health
- Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta Group
(6 to 11 servings):
Carbohydrates are a fundamental part of most diets.
Part of the rationale for placing them in the base
of the pyramid was that if people filled up on carbohydrates
they would eat less fat. When the USDA pyramid was
built in 1992, the main message for Americans was
"fat is evil." But not all fats are bad
and not all carbohydrates are good.
- Vegetable (3 to 5 servings) and Fruit (2
to 4 servings) Group: A diet rich in fruits and vegetables
is one of the best ways to keep yourself healthy. If there's anything
close to being "proved" in nutrition research, it's that eating
lots of fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of heart disease, some
types of cancer, and other chronic diseases. The U.S. government's "5
a day" campaign makes five servings of fruits and vegetables look
like a goal when it should actually be a lower limit.
- Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and
Nuts Group (2 to 3 servings):
This is essentially the protein group. Everyone needs protein[link]
to keep tissues healthy and keep the body running smoothly. Some sources
of protein are better than others, yet the USDA Food Guide Pyramid equates
heart-healthy fish with bacon and bologna.
- Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese
Group (2 to 3 servings):
Healthy bones need calcium, which dairy products
can supply. (They also need exercise and vitamin
D.) But most people don't need the amount of calcium
supplied by three servings of milk (1,000 milligrams)
a day, and there's some question that dairy products
are the best way to prevent osteoporosis, the bone-thinning
condition that affects many older women and men.
- Fats, Oils, and Sweets
(Use Sparingly): When the Food Guide
Pyramid was built, policy makers wanted to send
Americans a simple message for preventing heart
disease: Eat less fat and you will have a better
cholesterol level and a healthier heart. The fat
phobia spawned by this message probably had little
impact on heart disease. But it may have contributed
to the current epidemics of obesity and diabetes
as people replaced fats with fast-burning carbohydrates.
The fat-is-bad message also keeps people from eating
healthy fats - monounsaturated and polyunsaturated
The contents of this Web site
are not intended to offer personal medical advice, which should be obtained
from a health-care provider. The information does not mention brand names,
nor does it endorse any particular products.