Remember to consult your doctor before starting any diet and exercise plan.

The Food Guide Pyramid is a practical tool to help you make food choices that are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Using the Pyramid enables you to eat a variety of foods daily so that you can get the nutrients you need.

To make the most of the Pyramid, you need to know what counts as a serving.

  • Food Group–Serving Size
  • Bread–1 slice bread, 1\2 bagel or English muffin, 1 ounce ready-to-eat cereal, 1\2 cup cooked cereal, rice or pasta, or 5-6 small crackers
  • Vegetable–1 cup raw, leafy vegetables, 1\2 cup cooked or chopped raw vegetables or 3\4 cup vegetable juice
  • Fruit–1 medium piece of fruit, 1\2 cup mixed fruit or 3\4 cup fruit juice
  • Milk–1 cup milk or yogurt, 11\2 ounces natural cheese or 2 ounces process cheese
  • Meat–2 – 3 ounces cooked lean meat, poultry or fish (about the size of a deck of cards)
  • Other foods which count as 1 ounce meat: 1\2 cup cooked dry beans, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons peanut butter or 1\3 cup nuts