Say goodbye to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s old Food Pyramid. The tapered food guide is giving way to MyPlate, a colorful visual aid that shows the rough proportions of fruit, vegetables, protein, grains, and that dairy people should consume at every meal.
The old pyramid stacked food groups one atop another, with the least recommended foods at the pyramid’s narrow top and the most recommended foods forming its broad base. The food groups included fats and sweets at the very top, pastas, grains, and carbohydrates at the base, and diary, meat and poultry in the middle.
While it was a nifty visual that indicated how many daily servings from each food group people should consume, it didn’t really give them a good idea of the proportions of those foods on an actual plate.
The new image shows a plate divided into four sections, color-keyed to represent basic food groups. The largest section, colored green, is vegetables, followed in size by grains (orange), fruits (red), and protein (purple). A small blue circle, dairy, orbits the plate like a moon.
The plate serves as an easy visual reference as to how much territory on a plate each food group should occupy, and the USDA has accompanied it with specific suggestions about portions and food types:
· Eat smaller portions
· Choose whole grains over refined grains
· Make vegetables and fruit at least half of your daily food consumption
· Eat reduced-sodium foods
· Limit high-fat foods
To learn more about the new visual, go to www.choosemyplate.gov.