USDA and the Food Pyramid

This passage describes the USDA and its recommendations for a healthy diet.

Lexile Level: 930L

Categories: Sports & Health


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) makes recommendations for daily food intake. For many years, the USDA recommended that we eat from four basic food groups. The first was dairy and the second was meat. The third was fruit and vegetables, and the fourth was bread and grain. The USDA said that a healthy person should eat an equal amount from each group. The Food Pyramid advised people to eat much larger portions of fruits and vegetables. It also said we should eat only small amounts of meat and dairy. Nutrition research had raised awareness about the importance of fruits and vegetables. Scientists had also found that excessive fat intake can lead to heart problems. In 2005, the USDA modified the Food Pyramid, and introduced "My Pyramid." The new pyramid suggests that we should follow nutritional plans that are personalized to meet our individual needs.


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