The New “My Plate”

The food pyramid is gone. It has been replaced by "My Plate," which is designed as a "visual cue to help consumers adopt healthier eating habits."

The plate icon myplate is much easier to understand than the pyramid. You can also use the new icon to build your meals. The new my plate also reduces the emphasis on grains from the old food pyramid.

To go along with the new icon, there is a new set of guidelines. Some of these new guidelines are:

Balancing Calories
● Enjoy your food, but eat less.
● Avoid oversized portions.

Foods to Increase
● Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
● Make at least half your grains whole grains.
● Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.

Foods to Reduce
● Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals ― and choose the foods with lower numbers.
● Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

Generally this is pretty good information. But some of it, like "Enjoy your food, but eat less" is not very practical in building your meals.

It's very similar to what we teach here at Brandon Fitness Camp. Choose lean protein, plenty of vegetables and some fruit.

Where we tend to differ is the new my plate promotes a fairly large portion of grains and dairy. At Brandon Fitness Camp, we typically recommend our members start out by minimizing these two groups for 30 days and see whether they move, feel and look better. After 30 days, you can decide whether you want to reintroduce the foods into your lifestyle.

Secondly, there is no talk of fat intake at all. This omission does nothing to dispel the myth that eating fat is what makes you fat. We recommend that you include healthy fats, like olive oil, coconut, avocado and some nuts into your diet. We also recommend you make sure you get enough Omega-3 fatty acids by including a supplement such as Prograde ® EFA Icon Krill Fish Oil.

Will this change have a major impact on the obesity level in these United States? It's hard to tell. There are a lot of factors that affect our food choices. It's certainly a step in the right direction.

If you want to read more about the new my plate, visit ChooseMyPlate.gov.

What do you think about the new my plate? Will it help you make better choices? Does it raise additional questions? How can we help you implement better nutrition in your life?