I did a recent poll at one of my workshops, and found there was only one person who knew that USDA’s Food Pyramid was no longer the government’s nutrition guide. My Pyramid, which can be seen below, had been around since 1992. There are many who are glad to see it go. “It’s going to be hard not to do better than the current pyramid, which basically conveys no useful information,” Dr. Walter C. Willett, chairman of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health, told the New York Times in May, 2011. The chief complaints with My Pyramid were that it was too confusing and made no distinctions between healthy food choices such as whole grains and less healthy choices such as white breads and pastas.
The USDA’s new guidelines are represented by My Plate. Not only does it bring guidelines up to date, it provides a much simpler visual guide. The new design incorporates seven key dietary messages:
– Enjoy your food, but eat less
– Avoid oversized portions
– Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
– Drink water instead of sugary drinks
– Make at least half your grains whole grains
– Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1 percent) milk
– Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals – and choose the foods with lower numbers.
If you would like to learn more or to get access to some new recipes, visit www.MyPlate.gov