The Food Pyramid for Adults

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, or USDA, food guide pyramid is available to help adults and children make healthy food choices to enhance quality of life and reduce disease risk. The food guide pyramid has changed throughout the years. As of 2010, the newest version of the food guide pyramid is called MyPyramid, which was introduced in 2005.

Basics

The USDA food guide pyramid provides general meal plans for adults based on age, gender, activity level, height and current body weight. MyPyramid plans are also available for pregnant women, breast-feeding women and children. The plans include physical activity recommendations, which for adults is at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week.

LIVESTRONG.COM: How to Work Out with a Busy Schedule

Food Groups

Food groups used in MyPyramid meal plans include grains, milk, meat and beans, fruits, vegetables, oils and discretionary calories. Serving sizes for food groups are given in cups, ounces or teaspoons. Foods in the grains group include bread, rice, pasta and cereals. The milk group includes cheese, yogurt and milk. The meat and beans group consists of meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dried beans and peas, nuts and seeds. Discretionary calories may be used for any food of your choice.

1,600 Calorie Plan

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a 1,600 calorie meal plan may be recommended for weight loss in overweight adult men and some overweight women who exercise regularly. A 1,600 calorie diet may also be appropriate for sedentary adult women older than 50, according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. The USDA MyPyramid 1,600 calorie meal plan includes 5 oz. from the grains group, 1.5 cups of fruits, 2 cups of vegetables, 5 oz. from the meat and beans group, 3 cups from the milk group, 5 tsp. of oils and 130 discretionary calories each day.

LIVESTRONG.COM: Balsamic Chicken Pizza Recipe

2,000 Calorie Plan

A 2,000 calorie meal plan may be appropriate for many adult women and sedentary men older than 50, according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. The USDA MyPyramid 2,000 calorie meal plan consists of 6 oz. from the grains group, 2 cups of fruits, 2.5 cups of vegetables, 5.5 oz. from the meat and beans group, 3 cups from the milk group, 6 tsp. of oils and 265 discretionary calories per day

LIVESTRONG.COM: MyPlate

2,400 Calorie Plan

A 2,400 calorie meal plan is usually appropriate for many adult men and some active adult women, according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. A 2,400 calorie USDA MyPyramid meal plan consists of 8 oz. from the grains group, 2 cups of fruits, 3 cups of vegetables, 6.5 oz. from the meat and beans group, 3 cups from the milk group, 7 tsp. of oils and 360 discretionary calories each day.

By Erin Coleman


References

The Food Pyramid for Adults courtesy of LIVESTRONG.COM