The USDA’s food guidance system is a guideline to help you eat a variety of foods while encouraging the right amount of calories and fat. It’s divided into the following five food group categories that build the MyPlate symbol.
Foods made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain are grain products. Make at least half of your grains whole grains. Examples of whole grains include whole wheat, brown rice, and oatmeal.
Vary your vegetables. Choose a variety of vegetables, including dark green, red, and orange vegetables, legumes (dry beans and peas), and starchy vegetables. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
Any fruit or 100 percent fruit juice counts as part of the fruit group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut up, or pureed.
Milk products and many foods made from milk are considered part of this food group. Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk products, as well as those that are high in calcium.
Go lean with protein. Choose low-fat or lean cuts of meat and poultry. Vary your protein routine by choosing more fish, nuts, seeds, dried beans and peas.