Most of us are familiar with the USDA’s MyPyramid symbol for healthy eating. The pyramid has now been replaced with the MyPlate symbol.
This was designed to be more easily understood by consumers and is consistent with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It is a visual reminder for people to make healthier food choices and aims to help consumers think about building a healthier plate at meal times.
What is the Dietary Guidelines for Americans? The new 2010 Guidelines was launched in January 2011. It is the foundation of the nutrition education programs for the federal government, federal nutrition assistance programs, and advice given by health and nutrition professionals. The basic message of the Guidelines is:
• 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
More information, resources, and tools are coming with the new MyPlate icon and 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Visit the website www.choosemyplate.gov for more information and to find interactive tools and resources including food planners and recipes. Keep checking back, as more information about MyPlate comes out, we will be sure to blog about it for you!
Shelly Edens is a registered dietitian with Memorial Hospital.