In fact, it’s not a pyramid at all. Check out MyPlate, the new guidelines recommended by the U.S. Government. MyPlate is a new generation icon with the intent to prompt consumers to think about building a healthy plate at meal times and to seek more information to help them do that by offering information on ChooseMyPlate.gov.
The 20-year-old Food Guide Pyramid was finally retired when the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released new dietary guidelines to help Americans make healthier food choices and confront the obesity epidemic.
2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans captures the federal government’s evidence-based nutritional guidance to promote health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity through improved nutrition and physical activity.
The new guidelines focus on balancing calories with physical activity, and encourage Americans to consume more healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood, and to consume less sodium, saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and refined grains.
Here are the guidelines’ primary messages. (Do you recognize any from Michael Pollan’s Food Rules?)
- 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.
For more information, check out the PDFs online.