What Does the Food Pyramid Represent?

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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.

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