MyPlate & Tips to Make it Yours…

Today the iconic Food Guide Pyramid was laid to rest and replaced with an entirely different shape… a plate!

MyPlate graphic

I applaud the new icon because it’s easy to relate to.  Most people eat from plates. Come to think of it, I haven’t met anyone who eats from a pyramid.  So, it makes sense.  Some say it’s too simple but I think the goal was to provide an easy-to-understand tool.  And this delivers.  It serves as a visual reminder of how a healthy plate should look.  With that being said, there are a few things to  consider  as you ponder the plate…

Get the Most from Your Plate

Size Matters. The icon clearly shows a plate not a platter.  Even if you’re eating healthy foods, you still have to keep portions in check.

Mix it up. Your plate doesn’t have to be arranged in the same “meat & 3” fashion that’s so common to the South and traditional American cuisine.  Flex your plating skills with a stir fry or a veggie salad with chicken and a slice of crusty whole grain bread.

Lean protein doesn’t have to be meat, chicken or fish. Experiment with beans, tofu or tempeh to fill that corner or let them be the star of the plate at times.

Fit in healthy fats. Though they don’t show up in the MyPlate icon, healthy fats are an essential part of a healthy eating plan.  This one is easy and can be satisfied with just a handful of nuts or with a drizzle of olive oil to sauté or roast your veggies.

Sweets fit too. Though they are no longer included in the graphic (if only to say “enjoy sparingly”) rest assured, you can still enjoy a treat every now and then.

Balance your food with activity. The one thing I really liked about MyPyramid was the inclusion of physical activity.  That goes missing with MyPlate. So, don’t forget this important part of the equation.

Today’s announcement is a pretty big deal in the food and nutrition world, but I’d love to hear from you.  Will you make any changes in how you eat based on this new icon? Why or why not?

You can find full details including serving size and calorie recommendations at http://www.choosemyplate.gov.

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