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A food pyramid or diet pyramid is a pyramid-shaped diagram representing the optimal number of servings to be eaten each day from each of the basic food groups. The first pyramid was published in Sweden in 1974. The 1992 pyramid introduced by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) was called the "Food Guide Pyramid". It was updated in 2005, and then it was replaced by MyPlate in 2011.
Amid high food prices in 1972, Sweden's National Board of Health and Welfare developed the idea of "basic foods" that were both cheap and nutritious, and "supplemental foods" that added nutrition missing from the basic foods. Anna-Britt Agnsäter, chief of the "test kitchen" for Kooperativa Förbundet (a cooperative Swedish retail chain), held a lecture the next year on how to illustrate these food groups. Attendee Fjalar Clemes suggested a triangle displaying basic foods at the base. Agnsäter developed the idea into the first food pyramid, which was introduced to the public in 1974 in KF's magazine. The pyramid was divided into basic foods at the base, including milk, cheese, margarine, bread, cereals and potato; a large section of supplemental vegetables and fruit; and an apex of supplemental meat, fish and egg. The pyramid competed with the National Board's "dietary circle," which KF saw as problematic for resembling a cake divided into seven slices, and for not indicating how much of each food should be eaten. While the Board distanced itself from the pyramid, KF continued to promote it, and food pyramids were developed in other Scandinavian countries, as well as West Germany, Japan and Sri Lanka. The United States later developed its first food pyramid in 1992.
|Dietary factor||1989 WHO Study Group recommendations||2002 Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation recommendations|
|Saturated fatty acids (SFAs)||0–10%||<10%|
|Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)||3–7%||6–10%|
|Trans fatty acids||<1%|
|Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs)||By difference|
|Complex carbohydrate||50–70%||No recommendation|
|Cholesterol||mg/day 0–300||< 300 mg/day|
|Sodium chloride (Sodium)||g/day < 6||< 5 g/day (< 2 g/day)|
|Fruits and vegetables||≥ 400 g/day||≥ 400 g/day|
|Pulses, nuts and seeds||≥ 30 g/day (as part of the 400 g of fruit and vegetables)|
|Total dietary fiber||27–40 g/day||From foods|
|NSP||16–24 g/day||From foods|
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