Daily Servings for Each of the Food Groups
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
US Department of Agriculture. The Food Guide Pyramid. Downloaded 2/13/2012.
Sentry Health Monitors. Food Guide Pyramid. Downloaded 2/13/2012.
Living Strong. What are the Recommended Portions for Diabetics?
Health Reserve. Diet and Nutrition. Downloaded 2/13/2012.
American Heart Association. Suggested Servings from Each Food Group.
Wholesome Toddler Food. Using the Food Pyramid to Feed Your Toddler.