Food Guide Pyramid (1992)

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

The Original Food Guide Pyramid

The Food Guide Pyramid (now superseded by MyPyramid) was introduced by the USDA in 1992. As food pyramids are designed to do, it translates nutritional recommendations (according to conventional wisdom at that time) into the kinds and amounts of food to eat each day. The Food Guide Pyramid emphasizes foods from the five major food groups shown in the three lower sections of the Pyramid. Each of these food groups provides some, but not all, of the nutrients you need. Foods in one group can’t replace those in another. No one food group is more important than another – for good health, you need them all.

Foods, Oils and Sweets

These are foods such as salad dressings and oils, cream, butter, margarine, sugars, soft drinks, candies, and sweet desserts. These foods provide calories and little else nutritionally, and should be used sparingly by most people.

Milk, Yogurt and Cheese

Protein foods from animals: milk, yogurt, and cheese.

Meat, Poultry, Fish, Beans, Eggs, and Nuts

Foods from meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts. These foods are important forprotein, calcium, iron, and zinc.

Vegetables and Fruits

These groups include foods that come from plants – vegetables and fruits. Most people need to eat more of these foods for the vitamins, minerals, and fiber they supply.

Breads, cereals, rice, and pasta

These are all foods from grains. You need the most servings of these foods each day.

Food Guide Pyramid: Conclusion from a number of authorities

While the Food Guide Pyramid was a well-recognized symbol as a nutritional guide, as long ago as 2001 it was admitted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and The National Institutes of Health (NIH) that the Food Guide Pyramid was a total failure. 80% of Americans recognized the symbol, but people had become sicker and heavier since it was updated in 1992. Its recommendations were based on uncertain scientific evidence, and were barely improved over the years to reflect major improvements in our understanding of diet and health.

See Also

Fats – Why we need certain fats for good health.

Look here for healthy recipes.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Miranda

    Honestly, I will add, fruits and vegetables, and WATER should be at the bottom of this pyramid.

    • Joanna

      @Miranda, I guess you haven’t seen the FILIPINO Food Guide Pyramid. Experts included water in the bottom most part of the pyramid. It is unreasonable to screw food guide pyramid. Food pyramids are rough estimations of what is IDEAL FOR GENERAL POPULATION of course again with active lifestyle. I hope you are aware of the different food guide pyramids, there are even designs for pregnant, lactating mothers, children, adults, etc.. If you want specific recommendations whatever goals you have, your nutritionist is always willing to help you. That is also why, pyramids keeps on evolving to answer the needs of the population.

  • Miranda

    I am 30 years old…and just now realizing that 6-11 servings of grains everyday is ENTIRELY too much!!! So is everything else. I have significantly cut back on my food intake by just eating a few fruits and vegetables, some dairy, and a little bit of grains. I feel fuller and more satisfied than ever, and I am losing weight! I am only 5′ 0″ and got up to 152 in recent years. I am now almost 130. My goal is to get to 100. Screw the food pyramid. Unless you are incredibly, and I mean incredibly, active everyday you do not need anywhere close to this much food.

  • Joanna

    (cont.) That’s why it is also proper that fats are located at the top most part or the least space in the triangle.

  • Joanna

    FOOD GUIDE PYRAMIDS may it be old or new version, are designed to complement with physical activity or active lifestyle..not just to look at it, follow and then sleep!
    In layman’s term! Carbohydrates is the PRIMARY fuel source of energy,so if you’re practicing an active lifestyle it is just proper to eat carbohydrates. Proteins’ main function is for muscle build-up and tissue regeneration,however, if the body is undergoing ketosis and/or in a state of catabolism, that’s when glycogen works as fuel source of energy, and fats per se are the concentrated form of energy, and saturated fats is the bad type so it is only proper to consume fats in small amount.



  • diya t

    this food if following u can bcome fatty

  • Rick

    are you people blind at all the stuff that they have at the bottom of the pyramid comes from nothing but corn the usda has us believing this bogus story that grains are good for us when is not … meat should be at the bottom of this pyramid meat is protein energy good for you so are saturated fats but this big companies have us believing otherwise just so we buy their products and must of us are blind to this fact and we choose to close our eyes and believe what they say because we refuse to look at the facts ourselves look for the truth you can find it just go and search for it. USDA is nothing but liars who should be helping us not hurting us for profit.

  • Ben

    I think this is a lolcat moment.

  • Megan

    @Blair — Keep in mind that a true serving is not very large at all. Also, most people only eat 3 meals a day; sometimes only two. It is suggested that 6 to 7 small meals be eaten every day for optimum health and nutrition. It really is not that much when you step outside of the box.

    Also, this is the model from 1992. Check out for an updated (and completely different) version.

  • Blair

    I think the servings are to high.It’s too much food each day.

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