The Basics of Choose MyPlate

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The basics of Choose MyPlate: where it came from, what it is, and how you can apply it in your daily eating habits!

USDA officially announced a new icon to represent the 2010 Dietary Guidelines.  The former icon, that of the food guide pyramid, has been replaced with the the food plate.  If the plate looks familiar, it’s because it’s similar to ones used by the American Diabetes Association, and the Cancer Research Institute and the physicians Power Plate.

The plate is a great reminder and a much stronger visual than mypyramid  It’s easy to identify at a glance to add fruits and vegetables to each meal. 

The image of the plate is perfect for kids as well! We like the message as

  • Balanced portions are front and center.  If you eat a similar amount of grains as proteins, and keep half your plate for fruits and vegetables, you will be following the guidelines. 
  • The plate itself focuses on food that should be included in your diet, rather than foods that are considered “bad” for you.
  • No matter what dietary values you have, it is applicable to everyone.  Low carb, low fat, gluten free, vegetarian, etc.  They all can have application to the plate.
  • It’s simple! Finally an image that people can relate to as it pertains to what we are actually putting on our plates!

The official message of the USDA dietary guidelines for consumers include:

  • Balance Calories
    • Enjoy food but eat less.
    • Avoid oversized portions
  • Foods to increase
    • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
    • Make at least half your grains whole grains
    • Switch to low-fat or fat free milk.
  • Foods to reduce.
    • Choose low sodium foods.
    • Cut back on foods high in fat and sugar
    • Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

Now that you know the basics of MyPlate, you can successfully use it to design meals that you will enjoy and that promote your overall health and well being!

the basics of MyPlate

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