The New Food Guide Pyramid
By Michele Batz
This is a new guide developed by the government in April, 2005.
This guide is to promote healthy living. The old pyramid was developed
when we didn't know as much about nutrition. For instance, in 1992,
a lot less emphasis on whole grain foods than there is today. In
keep up with the times, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
update the pyramid.
The new pyramid is designed to remind people what
they should eat to stay healthy. The
old pyramid showed only foods. The new pyramid has been updated
physical activity as well.
The new pyramid shows food groups as a series of
differently sized colored
bands. The colors are:
- purple for meats, beans and fish
The bands are different widths
to show how much of a particular food group a
person should eat each day. So the orange band is much wider than
yellow one because people need to eat a lot more grains than fats
The drawing of a person climbing stairs at the side of the new
there to remind us that physical activity is as important to healthy
eating well. Exercise helps all of us stay healthy — it can increase
strength, for example. Food and exercise are closely linked. Everyone
eat well to get the nutrients that help the body grow. Individuals
are most active need additional food so they can fuel their activity
That way they satisfy their body’s needs for growth and activity.
The new food guide pyramid is supposed to help people remember
- Combine exercise with eating well. Exercise benefits
every part of the
body, including the mind. Experts now know that exercise fights
off a range of
possible health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and even
People need 30 to 60 minutes of vigorous exercise everyday to
- Eat a variety of foods. The different color bands
in the pyramid send the
message that it’s important to eat lots of different
foods. Not only does
eating a variety of foods provide people with a good balance
of nutrients, it
also keeps our taste buds entertained.
- Eat foods in moderation. The colored bands
that show each food group are
wider at the bottom of the pyramid than they are at the top.
that some foods in each group can be eaten in large quantities
should be limited. Foods at the bottom of each section include
little or no solid fats and little or no added sugars or sweeteners.
So, a person
should eat more whole wheat bread than regular pasta, for example.
Likewise, people should eat whole, fresh apples more often than
apple pie and try to
get most of their dairy intake from low-fat milk instead of cream
other high fat dairy products.
A Reminder to Eat Right and Exercise
Why these changes? Americans are getting fatter.
Kids and teens as well as
adults. A lot of this is because we're becoming a nation of
We're spending more time in front of computer screens and TV
meeting up with friends and playing sports. We're sitting behind
a desk or the
wheel of a car instead of working at more active jobs or walking
So, get up and get moving. Start a family exercise program
and just get out
Learn more about the new Food Guide Pyramid
© 2005 Michele Batz
About the Author
Michele Batz has an extensive 25 year career in sports education. She writes her own column for a Chicagoland newspaper and for eFitness.com and eDiets.com. Her book — What's Holding You Back? A Woman's Beginning Guide to Fitness is available through Amazon.com.