Washington, D.C.—The iconic food pyramid for a balanced diet will now be replaced with a plate segmented to show appropriate nutritional proportions. According to the US. Department of Agriculture, MyPlate will help Americans make better food choices because the tool gets them thinking about balanced meals.
The quartered plate recommends half of one’s meals be composed of fruits and vegetables; half of one’s grains be whole grains; and fat-free or 1% milk replace whole or 2%. Other recommendations include choosing water as a beverage and eating low-sodium foods. Interactive information is available at www.choosemyplate.gov.
In a recent blog, P.J. Skerrett, editor of the Harvard Heart Letter, says the new icon doesn’t go far enough. MyPlate doesn’t discuss which protein sources are better than others or talk about healthy fats (like omega-3s) versus saturated fats. It also fails to use a garbage or compost can to show where sugary and salty processed foods and snacks “that make up a big chunk of the average American’s daily caloric intake” should go.
Published in WholeFoods Magazine, July 2011