Practical plate replaces perplexing pyramid

Consumer Reports News: June 02, 2011 05:18 PM

The confusing, out-dated food pyramid just got a makeover. This week, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) unveiled the simplified MyPlate, replacing MyPyramid, and consistent with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The new food-group icon is the latest initiative in the agency’s efforts to remind Americans to make healthier food choices. MyPlate emphasizes the fruit, vegetable, grains, protein and dairy food groups and focuses on balancing calories, foods to increase, and foods to reduce using easy-to-digest messages like enjoy your food, but eat less, make half your plate fruits and vegetables, and drink water instead of sugary drinks.

The MyPlate initiative also includes nutrition tips, Q&A’s, sample menus, and recipes. Later this year, the USDA will unveil an exciting “go-to” online tool that consumers can use to personalize and manage their dietary and physical activity choices.

“With so many food options available to consumers, it is often difficult to determine the best foods to put on our plates when building a healthy meal,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a press release this week. “This effort is about more than just giving information, it is a matter of making people understand there are options and practical ways to apply them to their daily lives.”

Bottom line: Eating right is now a bit easier, thanks to the USDA. Need more help? Take a look at our Diet & Nutrition advice.

See our tips on healthful eating, diet Ratings, and join the Find the Right Diet for You conversation on Facebook.

First Lady, Agriculture Secretary Launch MyPlate Icon as a New Reminder to Help Consumers to Make Healthier Food Choices [United States Department of Agriculture]

MyPlate [United States Department of Agriculture]

2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans [United States Department of Agriculture]

Ginger Skinner

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