My Pyramid: Protein

Families, Food and Fitness October 28, 2009 Print Friendly and PDF

Go Lean with Protein!

Choose lean meats and poultry. Vary your protein choices by eating more fish, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds. Eat 5½ ounces (two to three servings) of protein foods (meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts) every day.

USDA MyPyramid - Meats and Beans

Serving sizes:

  • 2 to 3 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish count as one serving of a protein food.
  • ½ cup of cooked dried beans, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, or ½ oz. of nuts and seeds count as 1 ounce of meat.

Save money when purchasing meat, poultry, and fish. Buy less expensive cuts of meat and poultry. Choose lean ground meats. Buy and cook whole chickens or turkeys and freeze the leftovers after cutting them into single servings. Buy a whole ham and use it in several dishes. Use small amounts of meat, poultry, and fish in combination dishes (mix meat with grains and/or vegetables in a casserole).

Limit saturated fats and cholesterol. Bake, broil, or grill meats, poultry, and fish. Choose dry beans, peas, and lentils often. Eat less than 300mg. of cholesterol each day. One egg yolk contains about 220mg. of cholesterol. Use egg whites and egg substitutes because they contain no cholesterol and little or no fat. Trim fat from meat, and take skin off poultry. Limit high fat processed meats, such as bacon and sausages.

Next: My_Pyramid:_Fats >>


Lesson Contents
I. Introduction
II. My Pyramid: Basics
III. My Pyramid: Inside the Pyramid

a. My Pyramid: Make Half Your Grains Whole
b. My Pyramid: Vary Your Veggies
c. My Pyramid: Focus on Fruits
d. My Pyramid: Get Your Calcium Rich Foods
e. My Pyramid: Go Lean with Protein!
f. My Pyramid: Know the Limits on Fats, Salt, and Sugars
g. My Pyramid: Discretionary Calories

IV. Healthy Weight and Physical Activity


Connect with us

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest


This is where you can find research-based information from America's land-grant universities enabled by



This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.