New Alternative to the USDA Food Pyramid


USDA Choose My Plate Graphic

Over the past 25 years, the FDA and other government agencies have tried to inform people about proper nutrition and what the human body needs daily to be healthy and fit. In 1992, the Food Pyramid was introduced to help families include the right foods in their diets. Even with those guidelines in place, obesity, heart disease and other chronic conditions have been on the rise. Now, the government has come up with a new way to help people get healthy by improving their diet and making positive lifestyle changes.

The new MyPlate model still includes the five basic food groups. They are dairy, fruits, grains, vegetables and proteins. The model uses a plate that is divided up into four sections that vary in size. Vegetables are allowed the most space, and along with fruits, make up half of the plate. Grains and proteins make up the other sections and complete the remaining half. The plan makes a variety of suggestions to help improve a person's diet and alter eating habits so it is easier for them to lose weight and better manage their health.

A few of the most important tips include changing from whole or 2% milk to 1% or skim, exercise more often, include different sources of protein, whole grains should make up half of the total grain content of your diet and reduce the amounts of sugar, saturated fats and sodium in your diet plan. The MyPlate program gives useful advice about how to create nutritionally sound meals. The website for the model is interactive and encourages people to test their knowledge about the program and what it offers.

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