60% calories from carbohydrates
10% calories from protein
30% calories from fat (one-third or less from saturated fats)
Limiting sodium is healthy because of the risk of high blood pressure.
While trying to lose weigh and stay healthy, it's recommended that you eat the lower serving totals. For example the pyramid suggests that you eat 3-5 servings of vegetables per day. When dieting eat 3 or 4 instead of 5.
As time goes on and you keep track, you'll be able to adjust easier to the pyramid. It will take some time of keeping track to see where you need to make adjustments.
Here's another good site that explains it a bit more.
Ignore the food pyramid. This pyramid is from the government which is heavily lobbied by the food industry and it's based on research which is decades old. In fact, the goverment is planning to unveil a new food pyramid, but who knows what pressure the food industry has exerted this time. It sounds cynical, but I wouldn't trust the government or their "health experts" on this one.
The food pyramid was revised to the high carb content years ago, and the "experts" are considering revising it again.
The fact is, some people can handle the high carbs, and others can't. And not all carbs are equal. Some turn into sugar immediately and raise the blood sugar level. What is not immediately used for energy is stored as fat. Some of us are too sedate or have too low of metabolism to be eating much carbs.
I recently read a book (The Metabolic Typing Diet)about finding out my metabolism type. The test is right on. The book is inexpensive, and you can find out what protein-fat-carb ratio you need as an individual, and a lot of diet tips. The trick is to understand your own body needs and then make a life change, and not "diet".
I am quite sedate with knee problems, and I eat more than I ever have, and don't miss sugar or white flour products. People come up to me constantly to congratulate me on my new thinner look!