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Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy 1st B-day MyPlate! Goodbye MyPyramid!

If you're one of the many people that typed in "mypyramid.gov" into the search bar, you might have noticed that things have changed!  MyPyramid has been retired and replaced with MyPlate, a simple and easy to understand icon.  While MyPlate doesn't visually encourage an active liftestyle like MyPyramid, it makes the idea of "eating healthy" seem a lot less overwhelming and complicated than the latter.

Just look at the two icons together- my eyes almost automatically shifts away from the pyramid and to the plate.  I think the stick figure would agree since it's seeking high ground to escape the massive pile of food!
Jokes aside, I think MyPlate has the potential to positively influence what people eat, especially since it's pleasantly familiar (unless you have square plates like me) and makes portion sizes easier to manage.  Even though there are no steps or a running man reminding everyone to try to become more active, it's very rare to hear people talk about diet without once bringing up the benefits of physical activity and exercise.

HOW TO USE MYPLATE
While it's extremely difficult to make unhealthy decisions in the Fruit and Vegetable group, be sure to choose your Grain, Protein and Dairy category wisely.  Make at least half of your grains whole and choose lean proteins such as tofu, beans, fish, chicken and turkey over pork, red meats and fried options.  In the dairy category, go for the low fat or skim version over the whole versions which are high in fat.

Remember that these recommendations are geared towards the reduction of obesity and obesity related diseases nationwide, so expect the portion sizes to change based on the individual.  For example, endurance athletes would certainly not benefit from taking in an average amount of carbohydrate and protein.  To get a more specific dietary plan, meet with a registered dietitian to determine the most appropriate eating plan for you.

For more detailed information about MyPlate, go to choosemyplate.govmyplate.gov or mypyramid.gov which will all direct you to the MyPlate website.