It’s here! The new USDA healthy eating icon, MyPlate, was released today by First Lady Michelle Obama and USDA reps. The new icon, which replaces the old Food Pyramid, translated thousands of pages of the new US Dietary Guidelines for Americans into this simple plate that shows us the proportion of our meals that should come from the main five food groups–fruits, veggies, grains, protein and dairy.
So, all those Food Pyramids that adorn food packages will soon be replaced with the more simplistic plate. Gone are numbers of servings from each food group, complicated messages about fats and added sugars.
The overarching principle of the plate makes sense: Eat more of a plant-based diet. With 3/4 of your plate coming from fruits, veggies and wholesome whole grains, you really don’t have to be worried about getting too much saturated fat, added sugars or sodium. And, at the same time, you should get a boost of nutrition from the fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants packed into plant-based foods and lean protein.
Here are the government’s key messages to accompany ChooseMyPlate.
- Enjoy your food, but eat less.
- Avoid oversized portions.
Foods to Increase
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
- Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
- Make at least half your grains whole grains
Foods to Reduce
- Compare sodium (salt) in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals, and choose foods with lower numbers.
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
If the new plate helps boost the amount of fruits and veggies Americans eat, that could be the single biggest step to improve nation’s collective diet.
Let us know what you like and don’t like about the new MyPlate. Anything goes!