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Daily Servings for Each of the Food Groups

Updated on December 27, 2012
The Food Pyramid illustrates, in grapic form, the amount of our diet that should be made up of each food goup.
The Food Pyramid illustrates, in grapic form, the amount of our diet that should be made up of each food goup. | Source

By Joan Whetzel

The Food Pyramid suggests the recommended daily allowances (RDA) for each of the following food groups: 1. fats, oils and sweets, 2. dairy, 3. meat, poultry fish, beans, eggs and nuts, 4. vegetables and fruit, and 5. bread, cereal, rice, & pasta. It is suggested that everyone eat something from each of these groups for a well balanced diet. The charts and information listed below offer a variety of choices as well as serving sizes for a 1600 and 2000 calorie diet, as recommended by the American Heart Association.

Fats, Protein, Carbohydrates

Fats add 9 calories per gram to the food we eat, whereas carbohydrates and protein add 4 calories per gram. Sweets (sugary empty calories like jelly, cookies, candy) are absorbed like carbohydrates, but when not used, are stored as fat. Wine, beer and alcohol add 6 calories per gram to the diet and are also stored as fat. Used in moderation sweets and alcoholic beverages won't add much calories to your diet or fat to your body, especially when combined with exercise.

The American Heart Association reccommends these servings for fats and sweets.
The American Heart Association reccommends these servings for fats and sweets. | Source

Fats, Oils and Sweets

Fats, oils and sweets are placed at the top of the pyramid, not because they are the most important. The top is the smallest part of the pyramid, indicating that these should be the smallest part of the diet. Under no circumstances should fats be eliminated all together, because many of the vitamins and other nutrients our bodies need are fat soluble. That means they need the presence of fat to be absorbed and used by the body. Eliminating all fat from the body will lead to malnutrition. Ideally fats and sweets should be used sparingly. Preferably, these foods should be limited to:

· 6 tsp. sugar and 43 grams fat for 1600 calorie

· 10 tsp. sugar and 66 gm of fat for a 2200 calorie diet

The American Heart Association recommends these dairy serving sizes.
The American Heart Association recommends these dairy serving sizes. | Source

Dairy

Adults and children (beginning at age 7) need about 2 to 3 servings of dairy foods. These foods include milk, yogurt, cottage cheese and cheese. The cheese and milk should be low fat and for the yogurt, choose either nonfat or low fat. Watch out for the flavored yogurts as sugars are added to give them a more appealing flavor. If possible, by plain yogurt and flavor it yourself with fresh fruit and natural sweeteners like honey or agave nectar.

The American Heart Association recommends these serving sizes for meats, poultry, fish, beans, and nuts.
The American Heart Association recommends these serving sizes for meats, poultry, fish, beans, and nuts. | Source

Meat, Poultry and Fish, Beans, Eggs And Nuts

It is recommended that adults eat 2 to 3 servings from this food group. That means a serving at lunch and supper with possibly a third at breakfast, depending on how you work your daily diet. For example, plan a serving size of meat and poultry that is about 3 ounces for 1600 calorie diet and 4 ounces for 2000 calorie diet, so that you get 3 to 4 ounces of meat or poultry at lunch and at dinner, and perhaps 1 egg, 2 Tbsp of peanut butter or 1/3 of cup of nuts for breakfast.

These are the furit and vegetable recommendations from the American Heart Association.
These are the furit and vegetable recommendations from the American Heart Association. | Source

Vegetables and Fruits

Adults and children shout eat 3 to 5 servings of veggies and 2 to 4 servings of fruit daily. If you

don't see the serving size listed in the table, then check out the USDA food pyramid recommendations at this link: http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/MyPyramid/OriginalFoodGuidePyramids/FGP/FGPPamphlet.pdf

Grains are at the bottom of the food pyramid, providing  more servings a day than the other groups on the food pyramid.
Grains are at the bottom of the food pyramid, providing more servings a day than the other groups on the food pyramid. | Source

Bread, Cereal, Rice, & Pasta

Finally, the recommended starch and fiber servings are as follows:

· 6 to 11 servings for adults.

· 6 to 7 servings for kids 11 to 13 years old.

· and 5 to 6 servings for kids 7 to 10 years old.

For younger kids, follow your pediatrician's recommendations. Check out the USDA site for serving sizes on more of these foods.

recommendations at this link: http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/MyPyramid/OriginalFoodGuidePyramids/FGP/FGPPamphlet.pdf


References

US Department of Agriculture. The Food Guide Pyramid. Downloaded 2/13/2012.

http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/MyPyramid/OriginalFoodGuidePyramids/FGP/FGPPamphlet.pdf


Sentry Health Monitors. Food Guide Pyramid. Downloaded 2/13/2012.

http://www.lifeclinic.com/focus/nutrition/food-pyramid.asp


Living Strong. What are the Recommended Portions for Diabetics?

http://www.livestrong.com/article/524954-what-are-the-recommended-food-portions-for-diabetics/


Health Reserve. Diet and Nutrition. Downloaded 2/13/2012.

http://www.healthreserve.com/nutrition/daily_servings.htm


American Heart Association. Suggested Servings from Each Food Group.

Downloaded 2/13/2012.

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/Suggested-Servings-from-Each-Food-Group_UCM_318186_Article.jsp


Wholesome Toddler Food. Using the Food Pyramid to Feed Your Toddler.

Downloaded 2/13/2012.

http://www.wholesometoddlerfood.com/pyramid.htm

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