What’s on your plate?

The food pyramid is gone. Despite a recent makeover from being stacked horizontally (like when I was a kid) to vertical banding, the USDA determined it still wasn’t clear enough or direct enough to convey the importance of healthy eating across the food groups. So the pyramid is no more, and in its place is My Plate. If you were a fan of mypyramid.gov (and I know there are some of you out there), Choose My Plate has many of the same surprisingly useful features.

The basic message remains the same:
Balancing Calories
● Enjoy your 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 fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.

Foods to Reduce
● Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals ― and choose the foods with lower numbers.
● Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

There remain sections of the website for special populations, including pregnant and breastfeeding moms. From the website and its tools you can devise an eating plan ensuring that you meet caloric and nutritional needs.

Little about the distribution of how much one should eat from each food group is changed from the pyramid. From my point of view, the most unfortunate change from the vertical bands of the old food pyramid to my plate is the elimination of the activity element of overall nutrition. It’s one thing to tell people what to eat, but it’s absolutely necessary to keep banging the drum about calories in vs. calories out. Some people need the reminder that the simple mathematical equation really is the key to weight management.

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