The food pyramid visually depicts an ideal diet to maximize your health. It suggests a variety of foods in recommended proportions. Each color in the pyramid represents a different type of food. All allowances vary according to age and gender.
Orange - Grains
Orange is the color of pastas, breads, cereals and rices. The guidelines suggest that at least half of the grains be whole grain and that you consume 3 ounces daily.
Green - Vegetables
The pyramid suggests 2 to 3 cups of varied vegetables daily for optimal health, recommending more vibrant and dark colored vegetables to maximize nutrients.
Red - Fruits
Fruits are another part of a healthy diet. The pyramid suggests two cups of fresh, frozen or canned fruits daily, while cautioning against juices.
Yellow - Fats/oils
Oils should be consumed very sparingly, with a focus on those that are liquid at room temperature. No more than 6 to 7 teaspoons of oil should be consumed daily.
Blue - Milk/dairy
Dairy products such as cheese, yogurt and milk provide much-needed calcium for strong bones and teeth, but are also a source of fat. Look for low-fat products, consuming no more than 2 to 3 cups of dairy daily.
Purple - Meats/proteins
Purple represents the protein element of the pyramid. This includes foods such a fish, meat, legumes, and eggs. No more than 6 ounces should be consumed daily.