The brand new USDA Food Guide Pyramid

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By the time USDA/HHS got around to revising the Dietary Guidelines for 2005, it was pretty clear that the original food pyramid hadn't done its proposed job of teaching most Americans how to choose foods that provide sufficient nutrients without piling on the pounds.

What to do? What else? In a word, MyPyramid (see Figure 17-2).

Figure 17-2:

MyPyramid image promotes both proper

Figure 17-2:

MyPyramid image promotes both proper

diet and exercise.

MyPyramid.gov

STEPS TO A HEALTHIER YOU

Courtesy of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Like the original Food Guide Pyramid, this new version is made up of sections representing the foods in your daily diet — from left to right, grains, vegetables, fruit, oils, milk, and meat/beans.

Like the building blocks on the original Food Guide Pyramid, the six bands on this one say "pick lots of different kinds of foods to build a better diet." The different sizes of the sections suggest that you should consume more of some foods than others. The steps going up the side of the pyramid say, "Physical activity matters, so get moving!"

And the MyPyramid slogan, "Steps to a Healthier You," tells you that you don't have to leap tall buildings in a single bound like Superman (or woman) to improve your nutrition. Even small steps can make a big difference.

But the big deal about MyPyramid is that you can personalize the diagram to meet your own special needs. For more information, visit

www.mypyramid.gov.

Okay, warm up your typing finger(s) and run this one over your keyboard: www.mypyramid.gov. This gets you to a Homepage with lots of special info buttons on the left side.

Click on the one labeled My Pyramid Plan, and up pops a set of boxes into which you type your age, gender, and activity level to get back a personalized plan for your very own body and lifestyle.

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