You are absolutely right! It is time to update TeenHealthFX and use the new Food Pyramid.
So here it is…
The 2005 Food Guide Pyramid (also, the picture below is a link to the new Food Pyramid homepage done by the USDA).
Orange – Grain Group
Green – Vegetable Group
Red – Fruit Group
Yellow - Oils
Blue - Milk, yogurt, and cheese group
Purple - Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts group
Steps - Physical activity
So what is it? A pyramid that someone climbed?
Far from that, the new food pyramid was designed by the US Department of Agriculture for use by all people as a guideline for a healthy diet. It emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products. It recommends that your diet should be a mixture of the groups above and should include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts. It places emphasis on the types of fat you eat because they are important for your cardiovascular system (especially the heart muscle). It recommends that your foods should be low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.
So here is the breakdown by category (note each category has a lesson and a definition section to better explain it)...
The Grain Group (orange)
Lesson of the grain group: Try to stick to as many whole grains as possible. Look for the word “whole” before the grain name on the list of ingredients. Based on a 2000-calorie diet, this is about 6oz.every day.
Grains defined: Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley or another cereal grain is a grain product. Bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and grits are examples of grain products. Grains are divided into 2 subgroups, whole grains and refined grains.
Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel—the bran, germ, and endosperm. Examples include:
Refined grains have been milled, a process that removes the bran and germ. This is done to give grains a finer texture and improve their shelf life, but it also removes dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins. Some examples of refined grain products are:
The Vegetable Group (green)
Lesson of the veggie group: Eat more dark green and orange veggies. Also, eat more dry beans and peas. Based on a 2000-calorie diet, this is about 2.5 – 3 cups of vegetable a day.
Veggies defined: Any vegetable or 100% vegetable juice counts as a member of the vegetable group. Vegetables may be raw or cooked; fresh, frozen, canned, or dried/dehydrated; and may be whole, cut-up, or mashed. Here are some examples:
The Fruit Group (red)
Lessons of the fruit group: Eat a variety of fruit. And, it is very important to watch your juice intake. Many juices and drinks are full of sugar and contain many calories. Based on a 2000-calarie diet, a person should have about 1.5 - 2 cups per day.
Fruits defined: Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts as part of the fruit group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut-up, or pureed. Some servings are:
Lessons of fat: It is important to limit fats, especially solid fats. Look for foods low in saturated fats and trans fats. Limit solid fats like butter, stick margarine, shortening and lard. Choose oils from fish, nuts and vegetables.
Fat defined: Oils are fats that are liquid at room temperature, like the vegetable oils used in cooking. Oils come from many different plants and from fish. Some common oils are:
Some oils are used mainly as flavorings, such as walnut oil and sesame oil. A number of foods are naturally high in oils, like:
Solid fats are fat that is solid at room temperature, like butter and shortening. These are some other examples:
Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese Group (blue)
Lesson of milk, yogurt and cheese group: Go low-fat or fat free. If you cannot consume milk, try lactose free. Milk and calcium is an especially important nutrient for teens because of the growing that occurs during this time period!! If sweetened milk products are chosen (flavored milk, yogurt, drinkable yogurt, desserts), the added sugars also count as part of the discretionary calorie allowance. Based on this food pyramid and a 2000-calorie diet, this is about 3 cups per day. **TeenHealthFX feels that it is important for teens to have at least 1300 mg of calcium daily which translates into 4 cups or 4 servings of dairy foods daily (this is further backed up by the American Academy of Pediatrics website page on “Calcium - Getting What You Need”)
Milk, yogurt and cheese defined:
All fluid milk products and many foods made from milk are considered part of this food
group. Foods made from milk that retain their calcium content are part of the group,
while foods made from milk that have little to no calcium, such as cream cheese, cream,
and butter, are not. Most milk group choices should be fat-free or low-fat. Some commonly eaten choices in the milk, yogurt, and cheese group are:
Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts Group (purple)
Lesson from the meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs and nut group: Choose low-fat or lean meats and poultry. Also, limit frying and try to bake, broil or grill your meat. A good rule is to vary your choices with fish, beans, peas and nuts. Based on a 2000-calorie diet, this is about 5 – 6 oz. every day.
Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs and nut defined: All foods made from meat, poultry, fish, dry beans or peas, eggs, nuts, and seeds are considered part of this group. Dry beans and peas are part of this group as well as the vegetable group. Fish, nuts, and seeds contain healthy oils, so choose these foods frequently instead of meat or poultry. Examples are:
What are Discretionary Calories?
You need a certain number of calories to keep your body functioning and provide energy for physical activities. Each person has an allowance for some discretionary calories. But, many people have used up this allowance before lunch-time! Most discretionary calorie allowances are very small, between 100 and 300 calories, especially for those who are not physically active. For many people, the discretionary calorie allowance is totally used by the foods they choose in each food group, such as higher fat meats, cheeses, whole milk, or sweetened bakery products.
You can use your discretionary calorie allowance to:
Physical Activity (steps)
Physical activity simply means movement of the body that uses energy. Walking, climbing the stairs, playing soccer, or dancing the night away are all good examples of being active. For health benefits, physical activity should be moderate or vigorous and add up to at least 30 minutes a day.
Moderate physical activities include:
Vigorous physical activities include:
Other Healthy Eating and Exercise Thoughts From TeenHealthFX
So that is all of it. A lot of information in one reading session! Again. For more information on this, please check our MyPyramid.org. And again, if you have more detailed questions or would like something tailored more for your needs, contact your doctor and/or a nutritionist.