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The New Dietary Guidelines 2005

There has been much anticipation and buzz surrounding the new just published by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Here are the details of those recommendations. Read and reap the rewards of healthy eating — Feel better today, stay healthy for tomorrow.

Eating plan now incorporates exercise; Web tool allows you to track diet and activity together.

The USDA food pyramid was introduced in 1992, and this year is the first time it has been updated. The new pyramid (“MyPyramid”) has colorful stripes for each food group from tip to base, rather than the horizontal categories of the old version. It also adds a staircase along one side as a reminder that all Americans need to be more active.

The new food pyramid

This new image is based on the 2005 U.S. Dietary Guidelines, released in January. The guidelines emphasize greater consumption of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and whole grains – foods that are naturally high in nutrients and low in calories. New emphasis is also placed on healthful fat, including nuts and olive oil, and for limiting foods with added sugar, saturated fat and trans fatty acids.

Unlike the old pyramid, this version places a major focus on the importance of physical activity. The guidelines recommend adults be physically active for at least 30 minutes most days of the week, children for 60 minutes. Sixty to 90 minutes of daily physical activity may be needed to prevent weight gain or sustain weight loss.

The biggest difference between the pyramids is that the “MyPyramid” version is interactive and for now, almost entirely a creature of the Web. You can just go to and take steps to improving your health.
A companion Web site,, offers a database of 8,000 foods and 600 types of physical activity. It enables users to log on and keep an electronic record of as much as a year’s worth of food intake and physical activity on the Web site.

“MyPlate is about the ability of Americans to personalize their approach when choosing a healthier lifestyle that balances nutrition and exercise,” USDA Secretary Mike Johanns said. “Many Americans can dramatically improve their overall health by making modest improvements to their diets and by incorporating regular physical activity into their daily lives.”



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