A food pyramid or diet pyramid is a pyramid-shaped diagram representing the optimal number of servings to be eaten each day from each of the basic food groups.
The first food pyramid was published in Sweden in 1974. The food pyramid introduced by the United States Department of Agriculture in the year 1992 was called the “Food Guide Pyramid”. It was updated in 2005 and then replaced by MyPlate in 2011.
A vegetable is a part of a plant consumed by humans that is generally savory but is not sweet. A vegetable is not considered a grain, fruit,nut, spice, or herb. For example, the stem, root, flower, etc., may be eaten as vegetables. Vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals; however, different vegetables contain different spreads, so it is important to eat a wide variety of types. For example, green vegetables typically contain vitamin A, dark orange and dark green vegetables contain vitaC, and vegetables like broccoli and related plants contain iron and calcium. Vegetables are very low in fats and calories, but ingredients added in preparation can often add these.
Grains are small, hard, dry seeds, with or without attached hulls or fruit layers, harvested for human or animal consumption. Agronomists also call the plants producing such seeds “grain crops”. The two main types of commercial grain crops are cereals such aswheat and rye, and legumes such as beans and soybeans. Ubiquity of grain as a food source encouraged use of the term to describe other particles with volume or mass similar to an individual seed.
After being harvested, dry grains are more durable than other staple foods such as starchy fruits (plantains, breadfruit, etc.) and tubers(sweet potatoes, cassava, and more). This durability has made grains well suited to industrial agriculture, since they can be mechanically harvested, transported by rail or ship, stored for long periods in silos, and milled for flour or pressed for oil. Thus, major global commodity markets exist for canola, maize, rice, soybeans, wheat, and other grains but not for tubers, vegetables, or other crops.
In terms of food (rather than botany), fruits are the sweet-tasting seed-bearing parts of plants, or occasionally sweet parts of plants which do not bear seeds. These include apples, oranges, grapes, bananas, etc. Fruits are low in calories and fat and are a source of natural sugars, fiber and vitamins. Processing fruits when canning or making into juices may add sugars and remove nutrients. The fruit food group is sometimes combined with the vegetable food group. Note that a massive number of different plant species produce seed pods which are considered fruits in botany, and there are a number of botanical fruits which are conventionally not considered fruits in cuisine because they lack the characteristic sweet taste, e.g., tomatoes or avocados.
The food pyramid advises that fats be consumed sparingly. Butter and oils are examples of fats. Healthy sources of fat can be found in fish, nuts, and certain fruits and vegetables, such as avocados.
Dairy products are produced from the milk of mammals, usually but not exclusively cattle. They include milk, yogurt and cheese. Milk and its derivative products are a rich source of dietary calcium and also provide protein, phosphorus, vitamin A, and vitamin D. However, many dairy products are high in saturated fat and cholesterol compared to vegetables, fruits and whole grains, which is why skimmed products are available as an alternative. Historically, adults were recommended to consume three cups of dairy products per day. More recently, evidence is mounting that dairy products have greater levels of negative effects on health than previously thought and confer fewer benefits. For example, recent research has shown that dairy products are not related to stronger bones or less fractures.
Meat and beans
Meat is the tissue – usually muscle – of an animal consumed by humans. Since most parts of many animals are edible, there is a vast variety of meats. Meat is a major source ofprotein, as well as iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. Meats, poultry, and fish include beef, chicken, pork, salmon, tuna, shrimp, and eggs.
The meat group is one of the major compacted food groups in the food guide pyramid. Many of the same nutrients found in meat can also be found in foods like eggs, dry beans, and nuts, such foods are typically placed in the same category as meats, as meat alternatives. These include tofu, products that resemble meat or fish but are made with soy,eggs, and cheeses. For those who do not consume meat or animal products (see Vegetarianism, veganism and Taboo food and drink), meat analogs, tofu, beans, lentils, chick peas, nuts and other high-protein vegetables are also included in this group. The food guide pyramid suggests that adults eat 2–3 servings per day. One serving of meat is 4 oz (110 g), about the size of a deck of cards.