MyPlate is the new model and symbol of healthy eating. Introduced by the US Department of Agriculture, MyPlate is an effort to make healthy eating simpler and more popular. In this campaign the food pyramid is replaced by an icon of plate that indicates what should be present in your meal plate. It is a genuine effort to make the nutritional decision less complicated for common people. The campaign focuses on helping people to plan their plate with a healthy and balanced diet. MyPlate campaign is based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The icon of MyPlate helps people to visualize and measure the portion sizes of different food groups that should be included in the meals. It is not necessary that all food groups be covered in every meal, but one can plan to include what to eat each day based on the plate icon. The most obvious change from the food pyramid is the removal of fat groups from the diagram. As the country fights an obesity epidemic, the challenge is to reduce the fat intake as much as possible. Since most of the foods recommended in the MyPlate already contain some amount of fats, oils and fats have been wrapped as a separate group in the new campaign.
First and foremost, MyPlate recommends the inclusion of more vegetables and fruits in the plate. They form about half of the sizeable portion in any meal. The other half is made of grains and proteins, among which grains form a slightly larger portion than the latter. Thus, the four major food groups included in the campaign are vegetables, fruits, grains, and proteins. Apart from this a small amount of dairy foods is also mentioned in MyPlate. Although the quantity of each food group may differ from person to person based on activity levels, age and gender, the icon of MyPlate campaign reminds of the healthy meal plan in a simple way.
Choose a plate that's best for you:
- Go for a variety of vegetables including dark greens, colored vegetables, beans, starchy vegetables and others.
- Opt for whole fruits in the place of a juice to include more vitamins and fiber. Go for a different variety of fruits.
- Fill one quarter of the plate with whole grain products. Choose whole grain bread, brown rice, and other whole grain products in the place of refined, white products.
- Take proteins to make up quarter of your plate. This can be lean cuts of meat, fish, shellfish, beans, soy products, chicken, eggs, nuts and seeds.