Printable Food Pyramid
Printable Food Pyramid - Background
The food guide pyramid known as the food pyramid, and formally named the Improved American Food Guide Pyramid, was published by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) in 1992 to replace the earlier food groups classification system.
The (old) food guide pyramid outlined optimal nutrition guidelines for each food category (on a per day basis), using a pyramid with horizontal dividing lines to represent suggested percentages of the daily diet for each food group.
Click photo on the right for a large printable version of the old food pyramid.
This horizontal-based pyramid was updated in 2005 by a more detailed, easier-to-understand and graphically re-designed New Food Pyramid - MyPyramid (see below).
Printable Food Pyramid - Food groups included in the food pyramid:
Grains - the USDA suggests that we eat at least 3 oz. of whole grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, or pasta every day.
Vegetables - the food pyramid suggests that we eat more dark green veggies in the form of broccoli, spinach and other dark leafy greens. Moreover, it is recommended that we eat more orange vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes.
Also, eating more dry beans and peas like pinto beans, kidney beans and lentils is advised.
Fruits - it is suggested that everyone should eat a variety of fruits. The best options are fresh, frozen, canned or dried fruit while fruit juices are to be consumed in limited quantities. For a detailed list of all fruits and their nutritional values visit out fruit nutrition fact page.
Milk - recommendations for this food group include consuming low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt and other milk products. If a person cannot consume milk, other lactose-free products or other calcium sources such as fortified foods and beverages should be selected.
Meat & Beans - it's recommended that we choose low-fat or lean meats and poultry. Baked, broiled or grilled meats are suggested. In addition to meat, getting protein from a variety of other sources such as fish, beans, peas, nuts and seeds is important.
The serving sizes based on a person's age and activity level are outlined in the MyPyramid Food Intake Patterns document issued by the USDA.
Of course, if you have fitness and bodybuilding goals such as muscle mass gain, fat-loss or muscle definition, we suggest you visit our fitness nutrition page to read about specific nutrition guidelines related to fitness and bodybuilding.
Below is the New Food Pyramid - MyPyramid
>>Printable version click here (with food group explanations)...>>Printable version (poster format without explanations)...
Printable Food Pyramid - Reasons for Change?
The new pyramid is more detailed in that it shows details for serving sizes (portions).
The old food guide provided us with a good idea of the foods needed in each food group to maintain a well-balanced diet. However, it neglected to mention the portions (size) suitable for each food group according to age.
Thus, the old pyramid was more general in its approach whereas the new guide provides a more accurate and detailed depiction of the recommended food servings given a person's lifestyle, age, activity level and weight management goals (weight loss or weight gain).
The failure to present a clear picture as to the serving size (amounts) was the main deficiency of the old guide.
The USDA believes that the new chart is an improved version that allows for a more comprehensive and easy-to-understand guide.
From "Printable Food Pyramid" to main page about "Fitness Nutrition"