9 June 11 USDA MyPlate Topples the Pyramid


There's a new pic on the block, and it's one that the USDA is now using to help Americans eat healthier. The debut of the MyPlate campaign places a greater emphasis on calorie and portion control, while maintaining a balanced approach to nutrition. Where the Food Pyramid once reigned, there will now be a colorful, simple plate highlighting Fruit, Vegetables, Protein, Grains and Dairy.

After many attempts at re-branding the Food Pyramid (see images below), the USDA finally decided for a completely new concept. And what advice do they give with the new plate image?

  • Enjoy your food, but eat less
  • Avoid oversized portions
  • Make half your plate fruit and vegetables
  • Make at least half your grains whole grains
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk
  • Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals ? and choose the foods with lower numbers
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks
The first food pyramid was constructed in Sweden in 1974, but the USDA didn't adopt it until 1992. It was spruced up in 2005, but finally replaced this year with the MyPlate image. Close attention to the new MyPlate image shows that there is no representation for Fats/Oils, as these are often linked to many health issues, including risk of heart disease. Of course, savvy MyNetDiary members know there is a difference between good and bad fats.

Food Pyramid from 1992(Food Pyramid from 1992)
The real goal of the new MyPlate is that it will be easier to understand and implement. Since most of us use plates at our meals, it's easy to translate what a well-rounded, nutritional meal should look like when we actually fix our plate of food.

Another change from the Pyramid to MyPlate is that the former "Meats and Beans" group is now simply "Proteins," and "Milk" is now "Dairy."


(Food Pyramid from 2005)
What is not addressed with great clarity, however, is the finer points of the types of proteins, veggies, fruits and grains should be. Again, this is where your research and MyNetDiary's extensive article base will come in handy. We know that lean proteins should be preferred, and there's no reason you can't make 100% of your grain intake whole grains, and we know that some vegetables and fruits are better for increasing fiber intake.

So tell us, what do you think of the USDA's new MyPlate campaign? Is it better than the Food Pyramid or still falling short of what healthy eating should be?

Ryan Newhouse

Ryan Newhouse is the Marketing Director for MyNetDiary and writes for a variety of publications. He wants you to check out MyNetDiary on Instagram!

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Meal Planning & Diets/Plate Method

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