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Understanding MyPyramid: The 2005 USDA Food PyramidExplicaci³n de MiPir¡mide: la pir¡mide de alimentos de 2005 del USDA

Understanding MyPyramid: The 2005 USDA Food Pyramid

The USDA (US Department of Agriculture) has developed a new food pyramid to help you make healthy food choices and to be more active. The different parts of the new pyramid are explained below. You can find more information about the new pyramid and tools to help you personalize it for yourself at

The person climbing the steps reminds you that activity is important for your health. Try to be active every day.

Each of the 6 bands stands for one of the 5 food groups, plus oils. The groups are:

  • Grains: Includes all foods made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, and barley such as bread, pasta, oatmeal, cereal, tortillas, and grits. At least half of your grains should be whole grains.

  • Vegetables: Includes all fresh, frozen, canned, and dried vegetables and vegetable juices.

  • Fruits: Includes all fresh, frozen, canned, and dried fruits and fruit juices.

  • Oils: Includes fats from fish and many different plants that are liquid at room temperature, such as canola, corn, olive, soybean, and sunflower oil. Foods that are mainly oil include mayonnaise, certain salad dressings, and soft margarines.

  • Milk: Includes all fluid milk products and foods made from milk that contain calcium, like yogurt and cheese. (Foods that have little calcium, such as cream, butter, and cream cheese, are not part of the group.) Most choices should be low-fat or fat-free.

  • Meats and Beans: includes lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nut butters, dry beans, nuts, seeds, and tofu.

Each band is wider at the bottom and narrower at the top. The wider base stands for foods with little or no solid fats or added sugars. Choose these more often. The narrower top area stands for foods with more added sugars and solid fats. Limit these foods to small amounts.

A variety of foods from all groups is needed each day for good health. The different widths of the food group bands suggest how much a person should choose from each group each day compared to the other groups (proportion). A person should have more servings of the groups with wide bands, and fewer servings of the groups with narrow bands. The website can tell you how much of each group is right for you.

Date Last Reviewed:

Date Last Modified: 2005-12-30T00:00:00-07:00



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