Choose MyPlate is the most recent icon to illustrate the dietary guidelines for Americans. The core of the message is to consume “a healthy eating pattern that accounts for all foods and beverages within an appropriate calorie level.”

A healthy eating pattern includes:

  • A variety of vegetables from all of the subgroups—dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy, and other •
  • Fruits, especially whole fruits •
  • Grains, at least half of which are whole grains
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages
  • A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), and nuts, seeds, and soy products

The USDA dietary guidelines and MyPlate are important resources for anyone looking to improve their health and maintain a healthy diet. They provide valuable information on the types of foods that should be included in a healthy diet, as well as how to plan meals that are both nutritious and delicious.

MyPlate is a visual representation of the USDA dietary guidelines, which recommends that half of your plate should consist of fruits and vegetables, with the other half divided between whole grains and lean protein. Dairy should also be included in your diet in moderate amounts. By following the MyPlate guidelines, you can create healthy meals that are balanced and provide all the nutrients your body needs.

Using MyPlate to Create a Grocery List

One of the first steps in creating healthy meals is grocery shopping. When you go to the grocery store, it’s important to choose food items that are high in nutritional value and fit within your calorie allowance. I like to divide my grocery list by food groups. One column for proteins, another for fruits, veggies, and whole grains. (or carbs), and then extras.

Using MyPlate for Meal Planning

Meal planning is another important part of maintaining a healthy diet. By planning your meals in advance, you can ensure that you are making better choices and eating nutritious meals. Meal planning can also help you save time and money, as well as reduce waste.

To get started, consider creating a grocery shopping list based on the MyPlate food groups, and use meal plan templates to plan out your weekly meals.

When planning your meals, it’s important to consider your nutritional needs and health goals. For example, if you are at risk for heart disease or high blood pressure, you may want to focus on choosing foods that are low in sodium and high in healthy fats, such as olive oil and nuts. If you are following a gluten-free diet, look for whole wheat alternatives, such as quinoa or brown rice. And if you are trying to lose weight, focus on lean protein, fruits and vegetables, and limiting your intake of high-calorie foods.

There are many simple ways to incorporate healthy food choices into your everyday life. For example, you can swap out meat sauces for vegetable-based sauces, choose entree salads instead of sandwiches, and add sweet potatoes or brown rice to your dinner plate. You can also look for recipes that incorporate nutrient-rich foods, such as soy products, and low-fat milk.

To ensure that you are making the right choices, it’s important to consult nutrition experts and use reliable sources of information. The USDA’s official website and federal government websites, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are great resources for nutrition information and meal planning ideas. They offer free resources, printable templates, and sensitive information to help you plan nutritious meals that meet your nutritional needs and health goals.

By following the MyPlate guidelines and making healthy food choices, you can improve your overall health and reduce your risk of chronic disease. Creating nutritious meals that are both delicious and satisfying can be a great way to stay on track and maintain an active lifestyle. With the right resources and a little planning, you can be well on your way to a healthy lifestyle.

Need meal ideas to fill your portion control plate?

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