No More Food Pyramid! The Plate Takes Center Stage

Yesterday’s unveiling of the new food guide from the USDA had diet and nutrition circles buzzing. After all, it’s the first major overhaul to that familiar, if confusing icon in quite a long time. In recent years, the old pyramid has come under fire for being rather, well…unhelpful!

The vertical striations didn’t really help Americans figure out what to eat and were simply hard to decipher. To me, they felt like the test pattern on a TV, only with a little dude running alongside! (That dude was supposed to drive home the idea that physical activity, as well as a healthy diet, is integral for wellness.)

As of yesterday, a circle is the new pyramid. Well, a circle with wedges in it, but a plate-shape nonetheless! On the plate each wedge to represents about how much of each meal should be each food group; the biggest chunk is for vegetables, the next largest stands for fruit, and then whole grains and lean protein round out the orb. On the side is a small oval that stands for a serving of low-fat dairy.

All in all, diet experts are thrilled to see the pyramid junked (it had existed in some form or another, since 1992!) and say that the principles and simplicity of the plate are spot-on. It allows people to literally look down at their plate and evaluate: “How closely does it look like the ideal?”

Learn all about using the new plate at www.choosemyplate.gov/.

What do you think? Will it help you make better diet decisions??

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