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Food Pyramid

Summary of Dietary Guidelines
Food Safety
What is the Food Guide Pyramid?
Food Pyramid
How to Make the Pyramid Work for You
What is a Serving?
Water
Bread, Cereal, Rice & Pasta Group
Vegetable Group
Fruit Group
Milk, Yogurt & Cheese Group
Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs & Nuts Group
Fats
Cholesterol
Sugars
Salt and Sodium
Alcoholic Beverages
Rate Your Diet
Other Food Pyramids
References
Resources

Summary

Eat a variety of foods to get the energy, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber you need for good health.

Balance the food you eat with physical activity - maintain or improve your weight to reduce your chances of having high blood pressure, heart disease, a stroke, certain cancers, and the most common kind of diabetes.

Choose a diet with plenty of grain products, vegetables, and fruits which provide needed vitamins, minerals, fiber, and complex carbohydrates, and can help you lower your intake of fat.

Choose a diet low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol to reduce your risk of heart attack and certain types of cancer and to help you maintain a healthy weight.

Choose a diet moderate in sugars. A diet with lots of sugars has too many calories and too few nutrients for most people and can contribute to tooth decay.

Choose a diet moderate in salt and sodium to help reduce your risk of high blood pressure.

If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation. Alcoholic beverages supply calories, but little or no nutrients. Drinking alcohol is also the cause of many health problems and accidents and can lead to addiction.

Drink the amount of water that suits your personal needs.

If you want to use interactive online tools to plan a better diet, visit Calorie Calculator, Create-a-Diet, Interactive Healthy Eating Index, Interactive Menu Planner, and Rate Your Health Habits.

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Food Safety

Foods that are safe from harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, and chemical contaminants are vital for healthful eating. Foodborne illness is caused by eating food that contains harmful bacteria, toxins, parasites, viruses, or chemical contaminants. Bacteria and viruses, especially Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Norwalk- like viruses, are among the most common causes of foodborne illness we know about today.

Eating even a small portion of an unsafe food may make you sick. Signs and symptoms may appear within half an hour of eating a contaminated food or may not develop for up to 3 weeks. Most foodborne illness lasts a few hours or days. Some foodborne illnesses have effects that go on for weeks, months, or even years. If you think you have become ill from eating a food, consult your health care provider.

How to keep food safe to eat:

  • Clean: Wash hands and surfaces often
  • Separate: Separate raw, cooked, and ready-to-eat foods while shopping, preparing, or storing
  • Cook: Cook foods to a safe temperature
  • Chill: Refrigerate perishable foods promptly
  • Check and follow the label
  • Serve safely
  • Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold
  • When in doubt, throw it out
  • Click here for more details on these steps.

Some people are at high risk for foodborne illness: pregnant women, young children, older people, or people with weakened immune systems or certain chronic illnesses. These people should avoid unpasteurized, raw, and undercooked foods. More information.

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What is the Food Guide Pyramid?

The Pyramid is a guide to healthy eating. It's not a rigid prescription, but a framework for choosing a healthful diet that's right for you.

The Pyramid calls for eating a variety of foods to get the nutrients you need and the right amount of calories each day to maintain or improve your weight.

The Pyramid also focuses on fat because most American diets are too high in fat –especially saturated fat. A diet low in fat will reduce your chances of getting certain diseases and will help you maintain a healthy weight.

If your eating pattern does not regularly meet the requirements of the food pyramid, talk to a healthcare professional to plan a better diet. See also Eating Healthy.

Food Pyramid

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A Closer Look At the Pyramid

The Food Guide Pyramid emphasizes foods from the five major food groups shown in the three lower sections of the Pyramid. Each of these food groups provides some, but not all, of the nutrients you need. Foods in one group can't replace those in another. No one food group is more important than another - for good health you need them all.

There are many ways to create a healthy eating pattern, but they all start with the three food groups at the base of the Pyramid: grains, fruits, and vegetables. Eating a variety of grains (especially whole grain foods), fruits, and vegetables is the basis of healthy eating. Enjoy meals that have rice, pasta, tortillas, or whole grain bread at the center of the plate, accompanied by plenty of fruits and vegetables and a moderate amount of lowfat foods from the milk group and the meat and beans group. Go easy on foods high in fat or sugars.

The small tip of the Pyramid

Fats, oils, and sweets. These are foods such as salad dressings and oils, cream, butter, margarine, sugars, soft drinks, candies, and sweet desserts. These foods provide calories and little else nutritionally. Most people should use them sparingly.

Some fat or sugar symbols are shown in the food groups. That's to remind you that some food choices in these food groups can also be high in fat or added sugars. When choosing foods for a healthful diet, consider the fat and added sugars in your choices from the food groups.

Second Level

This level includes groups of foods that come mostly from animals: milk, yogurt, cheese, meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts. These foods are provide protein, calcium, iron, and zinc.

Third Level

This level includes foods that come from plants, such as vegetables and fruits. Most people need to eat more of these foods for the vitamins, minerals, and fiber they supply.

Base of the Food Guide Pyramid

Breads, cereals, rice, and pasta - all foods from grains. You need the proper amount of these foods each day.

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How To Make the Pyramid Work for You

How many servings are right for me?

The Pyramid shows a range of servings for each major food group. The number of servings that are right for you depends on how many calories you need, which in turn depends on your age, sex, size, and how active you are.

For a woman in your age range, the USDA recommends the following daily servings:

Recommended Daily Intake
Food Group Most women (1600 calories/day) Teen girls, active women (2200 calories/day)
Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta Group (Grains Group) -- especially whole grain 6 servings 9 servings
Vegetable Group 3 4
Fruit Group 2 3
Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese Group (Milk Group) -- preferably fat free or low fat 2 3 (if 18 years old or below);
2 (if 19-50 years old);
during pregnancy and lactation, the recommended number of milk group servings is the same as for nonpregnant women
Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts Group (Meat and Beans Group) -- preferably lean or low fat 2, for a total of 5 ounces 2, for a total of 6 ounces
Fats saturated fat: 18 grams or less;
total fat: 53 grams or less
saturated fat: 24 grams or less;
total fat: 73 grams or less
Cholesterol 300 milligrams or less 300 milligrams or less
Sugars 6 teaspoons or less 12 teaspoons or less
Salt and Sodium 2400 milligrams 2400 milligrams

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What is a Serving?

The amount of food that counts as a serving is listed below. If you eat a larger portion, count it as more than one serving. For example, 1/2 cup of cooked pasta counts as one serving in the bread, cereal, rice, and pasta group. If you eat one cup of pasta, that would be two servings. If you eat a smaller portion, count it as part of a serving.

Isn't 6 to 11 servings of breads and cereals a lot?

It may sound like a lot, but it's really not. For example, a slice of bread is one serving, so a sandwich for lunch would equal two servings. A small bowl of cereal and one slice of toast for breakfast are two more servings. And it you have a cup of rice or pasta at dinner, that's two more servings. A snack of 3 or 4 small plain crackers adds yet another serving. So now you've had 7 servings. It adds up quicker than you think!

Do I need to measure servings?

No. Use servings only as a general guide. For mixed foods, do the best you can to estimate the food group servings of the main ingredients. For example, a generous serving of pizza would count in the grain group (crust), the milk group (cheese), and the vegetable group (tomato); a helping of beef stew would count in the meat group and the vegetable group. Both have some fat - fat in the cheese on the pizza and in the gravy form the stew, if it's made from meat drippings.

What if I want to lose or gain weight?

The best and simplest way to lose weight is to increase your physical activity and reduce the fat and sugars in your diet.

But be sure to eat at least the lowest number of servings from the five major food groups in the Food Guide Pyramid. You need them for the vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and protein they provide. Just try to pick the lowest fat choices from the food groups.

To gain weight, increase the amounts of foods you eat from all of the food groups. If you have lost weight unexpectedly, see your doctor.

What counts as a serving?

Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta Group (Grains Group)-- whole grain and refined
  • 1 slice of bread
  • About 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal
  • 1/2 cup of cooked cereal, rice, or pasta

Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese Group (Milk Group) -- preferably fat free or low fat

  • 1 cup of milk** or yogurt**
  • 1 1/2 ounces of natural cheese** (such as Cheddar)
  • 2 ounces of processed cheese** (such as American)

Vegetable Group

  • 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables
  • 1/2 cup of other vegetables -- cooked or raw
  • 3/4 cup of vegetable juice

Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts Group (Meat and Beans Group)

  • 2-3 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish
  • 1/2 cup of cooked dry beans# or 1/2 cup of tofu counts as 1 ounce of lean meat
  • 2 1/2 ounce soyburger or 1 egg counts as 1 ounce of lean meat
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter or 1/3 cup of nuts counts as 1 ounce of meat

Fruit Group

  • 1 medium apple, banana, orange, pear
  • 1/2 cup of chopped, cooked, or canned fruit
  • 3/4 cup of fruit juice

NOTE: Many of the serving sizes given above are smaller than those on the Nutrition Facts Label. For example, 1 serving of cooked cereal, rice, or pasta is 1 cup for the label but only 1/ 2 cup for the Pyramid.

* This includes lactose- free and lactose- reduced milk products. One cup of soy- based beverage with added calcium is an option for those who prefer a non- dairy source of calcium.

** Choose fat- free or reduced- fat dairy products most often.

# Dry beans, peas, and lentils can be counted as servings in either the meat and beans group or the vegetable group. As a vegetable, 1/2 cup of cooked, dry beans counts as 1 serving. As a meat substitute, 1 cup of cooked, dry beans counts as 1 serving (2 ounces of meat).

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Water

Don't forget to include enough water in your diet. All the cell and organ functions depend on water for functioning. It regulates body temperature and helps to alleviate constipation.

Water is obtained from some of the foods we eat. These are foods that are 85 to 95% water. Some water is obtained from the by-products of metabolism. But our main source of water is our drinking water, which is the best source. Water is also obtained from soup, milk, and juices. Alcoholic beverages and beverages with caffeine (such as coffee, tea, and colas) are not the best choices because they have a diuretic (water-excreting) effect.

If adequate water is not consumed on a daily basis the body fluids will be out of balance, causing life-threatening dehydration.

Six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water, or half of the body weight in ounces, are recommended on a daily basis. For example, if you weigh 140 lbs, you will need 70 ounces of water. You can visit a hydration calculator that will determine how much water you need. Milk, juice, and soup can not be substituted for the entire water requirement. Caffeinated and alcoholic beverages (due to their diuretic effect) would not be appropriate substitutes at all.

Carrying a water bottle and drinking at regular intervals will help you to obtain the required amount of water your body needs.

For more information about water in the human diet, visit http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002471.htm.

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Bread, Cereal, Rice & Pasta Group (6-11 Servings)

Why are breads, cereals, rice, and pasta important?

These foods provide complex carbohydrates (starches), which are an important source of energy, especially in low fat diets.

They also provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The Food Guide Pyramid suggests 6 to 11 servings of these foods a day.

What counts as a serving?

For this amount of food... count this many...
Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta Group
Eat 6 to 11 servings daily Servings Grams of Fat
»Bread, 1 slice 1 1
»Hamburger roll, bagel, english muffin, 1 2 2
  Tortilla, 1 1 3
»Rice, pasta, cooked, 1/2 cup 1 Trace
  Plain crackers, small, 3-4 1 3
  Breakfast cereal, 1 oz. 1 *
  Pancakes, 4" diameter, 2 2 3
  Croissant, 1 large (2 oz.) 2 12
  Doughnut, 1 medium (2 oz.) 2 11
  Danish, 1 medium (2 oz.) 2 13
  Cake, frosted, 1/16 average 1 13
  Cookies, 2 medium 1 4
  Pie, fruit, 2-crust, 1/6 8" pie 2 19
* Check product label
Low-fat choice

Aren't starchy foods fattening?

No. It's what you add to these foods or cook with them that adds most of the calories. For example: margarine or butter on bread, cream or cheese sauces on pasta, and the sugar and fat used with the flour in making cookies.

Selection tips

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Vegetable Group (3-5 Servings)

Why are vegetables important?

Vegetables provide vitamins, such as vitamins A and C, folate, and minerals, such as iron and magnesium. They are naturally low in fat and also provide fiber. The Food Guide Pyramid suggests 3 to 5 servings of these foods a day.

What counts as a serving?

For this amount of food... count this many...
Vegetable Group
Eat 3 to 5 servings daily Servings Grams of Fat
»Vegetables, cooked 1/2 cup 1 Trace
»Vegetables, leafy, raw 1 cup 1 Trace
»Vegetables, nonleafy, raw, chopped 1/2 cup 1 Trace
  Potatoes, scalloped, 1/2 cup 1 4
  Potato salad, 1/2 cup 1 8
  French fries, 10 1 8
Low-fat choice

Selection tips

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Fruit Group (2-4 Servings)

Why are fruits important?

Fruit and fruit juices provide important amounts of vitamins A and C and potassium. They are low in fat and sodium. The Food Guide Pyramid suggests 2 to 4 servings of fruits a day.

What counts as a serving?

For this amount of food... count this many...
Fruit Group
Eat 2 to 4 servings daily Servings Grams of Fat
»Whole fruit: medium apple, orange, banana 1 Trace
»Fruit, raw or canned, 1/2 cup 1 Trace
»Fruit juice, unsweetened, 3/4 cup 1 Trace
  Avocado, 1/4 whole 1 9
Low-fat choice

Selection tips

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Milk, Yogurt & Cheese Group (2-3 servings)

Why are milk products important?

Milk products provide protein, vitamins, and minerals. Milk, yogurt, and cheese are the best source of calcium. The Food Guide Pyramid suggests 2 to 3 servings of milk, yogurt, and cheese a day -- 2 if you are 18 or under, 3 if you are 19-50.

What counts as a serving?

For this amount of food... count this many...
Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese Group
Eat 2 to 3 servings dailyServingsGrams of Fat
»Skim milk, 1 cup 1 Trace
»Nonfat yogurt, plain, 8 oz. 1 Trace
  Lowfat milk, 2 percent, 1 cup 1 5
  Whole milk, 1 cup 1 8
  Chocolate milk, 2 percent, 1 cup 1 5
  Lowfat yogurt, plain, 8 oz. 1 4
  Lowfat yogurt, fruit, 8 oz. 1 3
  Natural cheddar cheese, 1-1/2 oz. 1 14
  Process cheese, 2 oz. 1 18
  Mozzarella, part skim, 1/2 cup 1 7
  Ricotta, part skim, 1/2 cup 1 10
  Cottage cheese, 4 percent fat, 1/2 cup 1/4 5
  Ice cream, 1/2 cup 1/3 7
  Ice milk, 1/2 cup 1/3 3
  Frozen yogurt, 1/2 cup 1/2 2
Low-fat choice

How much is a gram of fat?

To help you visualize how much fat is in these foods, keep in mind that 1 teaspoon (1 pat) of butter has 4 grams of fat.

Selection tips

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Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs & Nuts Group (2 –3 servings)

Why are meat, poultry, fish, and other foods in this group important?

Meat, poultry, and fish supply protein, B vitamins, iron, and zinc. The other foods in this group - dry beans, eggs, and nuts - are similar to meats in providing protein and most vitamins and minerals. The Food Guide Pyramid suggests 2 to 3 servings each day of foods from this group. The total amount of these servings should be the equivalent of 5 to 6 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish per day.

What counts as a serving?

For this amount of food... count this many...
Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts Group
Eat 5 to 7 oz. daily Servings Grams of Fat
»Lean meat, poultry, fish, cooked 3 oz. 6
  Ground beef, lean, cooked 3 oz. 16
  Chicken, with skin, fried 3 oz. 13
  Bologna, 2 slices 1 oz. 16
  Egg, 1 1 oz. 5
»Dry beans and peas, cooked, 1/2 cup 1 oz. Trace
  Peanut butter, 2 tbsp. 1 oz. 16
  Nuts, 1/3 cup 1 oz. 22
Low-fat choice

Lean Choices

Selection tips

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Fats

How much fat can I have?

It depends on your calorie needs. The Dietary Guidelines recommend that Americans limit fat in their diets to 30 percent of calories. This amounts to 53 grams of fat in a 1,600-calorie diet and 73 grams of fat in a 2,200-calorie diet.

You will get up to half this fat even if you pick the lowest fat choice from each good group and add no fat to your foods in preparation or at the table.

You decide how to use the additional fat in your daily diet. You may want to have foods from the five major food groups that are higher in fat--such as whole milk instead of skim milk. Or you may want to use it in cooking or at the table in the form of spreads, dressings, or toppings.

How to check your diet for fat

If you want to be sure you have a lowfat diet, you can count the grams of fat in your day's food choices using the chart below, and compare them to the number of grams of fat suggested for your calorie level. You don't need to count fat grams every day, but doing a fat checkup once in awhile will help keep you on the right track. If you find you are eating too much fat, choose lower fat foods more often.

You can figure the number of grams of fat that provide 30% of calories in your daily diet as follows:

Multiply your total day's calories by 0.30 to get your calories from fat per day. Example: 2,200 calories x 0.30 = 660 calories from fat.

Divide calories from fat per day by 9 (each gram of fat has 9 calories) to get grams of fat per day. Example: 660 calories from fat ÷ 9 = 73 grams of fat.

For this amount of food... count this many...
Fats, Oil, and Sweets
Use sparinglyServingsGrams of Fat
Butter, margarine, 1 tsp. - 4
Mayonnaise, 1 tbsp. - 11
Salad dressing, 1 tbsp. - 7
Reduced calorie salad dressing, 1 tbsp. - *
Sour cream, 2 tbsp. - 6
Cream cheese, 1 oz. - 10
Sugar, jam, jelly, 1 tsp. - 0
Cola, 12 fl. oz. - 0
Fruit drink, ade, 12 fl. oz. - 0
Chocolate bar, 1 oz. - 9
Sherbet, 1/2 cup - 2
Fruit sorbet, 1/2 cup - 0
Gelatin dessert, 1/2 cup - 0

Are some types of fat worse than others?

Yes. Eating too much saturated fat raises blood cholesterol levels in many people, increasing their risk for heart disease. The Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting saturated fat to less than 10 percent of calories, or about one-third of total fat intake.

All fats in foods are mixtures of three types of fatty acids - saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated.

If you are at a healthy weight and you eat little saturated fat, you'll have leeway to eat some plant foods that are high in unsaturated fats.

How do I avoid too much saturated fat?

Follow the Food Guide Pyramid, keeping your total fat within recommended amounts. Choose fat from a variety of food sources, but mostly from those foods that are higher in polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fat.

Selection tips

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Cholesterol

Cholesterol and fat are not the same thing.

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance present in all animal foods - meat, poultry, fish, milk and milk products, and egg yolks. Both the lean and fat of meat and the meat and skin of poultry contain cholesterol. In milk products, cholesterol is mostly in the fat -- lower fat products contain less cholesterol. Egg yolks and organ meats, like liver, are high in cholesterol. Plant foods do not contain cholesterol.

Dietary cholesterol, as well as saturated fat, raises blood cholesterol levels in many people, increasing their risk for heart disease. Some health authorities recommend that dietary cholesterol be limited to an average of 300 milligrams or less per day. To keep dietary cholesterol to this level, follow the Food Guide Pyramid, keeping your total fat to the amount that's right for you.

It's not necessary to eliminate all foods that are high in cholesterol. You can have three to four egg yolks a week, counting those used as ingredients in custards and baked products. Use lower fat dairy products often and occasionally include dry beans and peas in place of meat.

For more tips to reduce cholesterol intake, click here. You can also take some cholesterol quizzes and self-evaluations here, here, and here.

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Sugar

What about sugars?

Choosing a diet low in fat is a concern for everyone; choosing one low in sugars is also important for people who have low calorie needs. Naturally occuring sugars are found in foods such as milk or fruits that also supply many other nutrients. Added sugars include white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, corn syrup, honey, molasses, and many others; these supply calories and little else nutritionally. Too much sugar can contribute to weight gain and tooth decay, and can decrease the amount of nutritious food you eat overall.

To avoid getting too many calories from sugars, try to limit your added sugars to 6 teaspoons a day if you eat about 1,600 calories; or 12 teaspoons at 2,200 calories. These amounts are intended to be averages over time. The patterns are illustrations of healthful proportions in the diet, not rigid prescriptions.

Added sugars are in foods like candy, soft drinks, baked goods, sweetened drinks, and dairy desserts like ice cream, as well as jams, jellies, and sugars you add at the table. Some added sugars are also in foods from the food groups, such as fruit canned in heavy syrup and chocolate milk.

Drinking eight glasses of water a day can reduce your craving for snacks high in sugar.

Sugar substitutes such as saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, and sucralose are extremely low in calories. Some people find them useful if they want a sweet taste without the calories. Some foods that contain sugar substitutes, however, still have calories. Unless you reduce the total calories you eat or increase your physical activity, using sugar substitutes will not cause you to lose weight.

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Salt and Sodium

Do I have to give up salt?

No. But most Americans eat more than they need. Some health authorities say that sodium intake should not be more than 2,400 milligrams per day -- about one teaspoon of salt. Nutrition labels also list a Daily Value (upper limit) of 2,400 milligrams per day of sodium.

Much of the sodium in people's diets comes from salt added to foods they buy, or from salt they add while cooking and at the table.

Selection tips

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Alcoholic Beverages

Alcoholic beverages supply calories but few nutrients. Alcoholic beverages are harmful when consumed in excess, and some people should not drink at all:

Excess alcohol alters judgment and can lead to dependency and a great many other serious health problems. Taking more than one drink per day for women or two drinks per day for men can raise the risk for motor vehicle crashes, other injuries, high blood pressure, stroke, violence, suicide, and certain types of cancer. Even one drink per day can slightly raise the risk of breast cancer. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy increases risk of birth defects. Too much alcohol may cause social and psychological problems, cirrhosis of the liver, inflammation of the pancreas, and damage to the brain and heart. Heavy drinkers also are at risk of malnutrition because alcohol contains calories that may substitute for those in nutritious foods.

If adults choose to drink alcoholic beverages, they should consume them only in moderation - and with meals to slow alcohol absorption. Moderation is defined as no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men. This limit is based on differences between the sexes in both weight and metabolism.

Each of the following counts as one drink:


NOTE: Even moderate drinking provides extra calories, and a mixer such as a soft drink will add more calories.

Drinking in moderation may lower risk for coronary heart disease, mainly among men over age 45 and women over age 55. However, there are other factors that reduce the risk of heart disease, including a healthy diet, physical activity, avoidance of smoking, and maintenance of a healthy weight.

Moderate consumption provides little, if any, health benefit for younger people. Risk of alcohol abuse increases when drinking starts at an early age.

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How to Rate Your Diet
You may want to rate your diet for a few days. Follow these four steps.

Step 1.

Jot down everything you ate yesterday for meals and snacks. Grams of Fat
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Total  

Step 2.

Write down the number of grams of fat in each food you list.

»Use the charts on this page (above) to get an idea of the number of grams of fat to count for the foods you ate.

»Use nutrition labels on packaged foods you ate to find out the grams of fat they contained.

Step 3.

Answer these questions:

»Did you have the number of servings from the five major food groups that are right for you? (See this chart to determine the number of servings that are right for you.)

  Servings Right for You Servings You Had
Grain Group Servings    
Vegetable Group Servings    
Fruit Group Servings    
Milk Group Servings    
Meat Group (ounces)    

How did you do? Not enough? About right?

»Add up your grams of fat listed in Step 2. Did you have more fat than the amount right for you?

  Grams Right for You Grams You Had
Fat    

How did you do? Too much? About right?

»Do you need to watch the amount of added sugars you eat? See the previous chart to estimate the number of teaspoons of added sugars in your food choices.

  Teaspoons Right for You Teaspoons You Had
Sugars    

How did you do? Too much? About right?

Step 4.

Decide what changes you can make for a healthier diet. Start by making small changes, like switching to lowfat salad dressings or adding an extra serving of vegetables. Make additional changes gradually until healthy eating becomes a habit.

If your eating pattern does not regularly meet the requirements of the food pyramid, talk to a healthcare professional to plan a better diet. See also Eating Healthy.

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Other Food Pyramids

Cultural:

Asian Diet Food Pyramid - http://www.oldwayspt.org/pyramids/asian/p_asian.html

Latin American Food Pyramid - http://www.oldwayspt.org/pyramids/latin/p_latin.html

Mediterranean Food Pyramid - http://www.oldwayspt.org/pyramids/med/p_med.html

Vegetarian Food Pyramid - http://www.oldwayspt.org/pyramids/veg/p_veg.html

Native American Food Pyramid - http://www.aaip.com/tradmed/tradmedfoodguide.html

Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid - http://www.mayo.edu/news/pyramid.jpg

Child Food Pyramid - http://www.kidshealth.org/kid/stay_healthy/food/pyramid.html

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References

http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/food/dietguide2000/toc.htm, http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/food/food-pyramid/main.htm

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Resources

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This website is an information resource center and does not provide medical advice.
Information from 4collegewomen.org website should not be a substitute
for medical advice from a health care professional.