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Explore the USDA Food Pyramid


Updated April 16, 2014

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Dairy Products and Proteins
dairy products and proteins

Dairy products and proteins are the final two groups in the old USDA Pyramid.

Ty Smith

The next step is made up of dairy products. Dairy products include milk, cheese, sour cream, yogurt and even ice cream. They're important for getting the calcium your body needs for strong bones, and they're a good source of protein.

Speaking of protein, the final step is the protein group. Proteins are found in abundance in foods of animal origin such as lean meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, and fish. Plant sources including legumes, nuts, grains and seeds provide plenty of vegetarian protein.

Choosing Dairy Products and Protein Sources

The best dairy products and proteins sources are those that aren't also high in fat, so choose non- or low-fat dairy products and lean meats whenever possible. Use recipes and cooking methods that don't add too much extra fat, sodium, sugar and calories.
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