Thursday, June 2, 2011

Choose My Plate


    The USDA has just released the new food icon to help folks in America understand healthy eating today the pyramid was replaced with a plate. I love a plate model see below for the British version I was trained using. 

My initial thoughts are that fats and sugar should be included in a small segment as its more realistic for folks and good additional information to cover the basics of foods containing protein (lentils, beans, meat, fish and eggs), grains meaning whole grain carbohydrates (whole grain bread, pasta, rice, cereal and so on). 

But thats where registered dietitians come in like myself, we are specially trained to turn complex nutritional science into everyday advice tailored for the individual. I think the plate is a starting point for discussion and easier to grasp than the pyramid. 

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.  

The British One

What do you think?

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  1. I think that it is good to be simplified for consumers. My understanding with the fat/sugar issue is that they are so inherent in EVERYTHING else that we eat that they'll make their way into our meals without us even trying! With the American consumer, I think the more direct and simplified, the better.

  2. Is a nice and interesting post Rebecca, I think we have to eat the most natural possible (without aditives and quimics you know) I try this and always eat more thais in season like you are in Spring-summer, is a lovley time to vegetables and fryits, xgloria

  3. Nice post Rebecca :)I never care much for these things and I know I SHOULD !!

  4. great info..rebecca, love your passion


  5. This is another horrible and misguided development by the USDA, pushing so-called 'healthy' grains. Fats, like Rebecca said are missing completely from the plate however sugar should remain absent. Until Americans realize that carbohydrates are the real cause for obesity, we'll continue down the road to living unhealthy lives.

    Have you noticed how the US now explains everyone should be exercising for an hour? It used to be 30 minutes. When the food plate fails, we'll have someone else telling us 90 minutes will keep us at our proper weight.

    It is what we eat and this needs to change. Check out "Why We Get Fat" by Dr. Taub. Actual, real studies into diet and exercise.

  6. I think Weight Watchers agrees more with you than the USDA. However, given the volumes of sugars and fats Americans consume - maybe it would be an improvement if all followed the USDA guidelines.

  7. Wow...that UK plate takes me back to schooldays. I think its interesting that the UK version is regarded as the better one. Thanks for the opportunity to think about this!

  8. I like the visual of the plate for portion control, and to promote lots of fruits and veggies, however, I too would like to see healthy fats somewhere. I think my favorite visual is still the Mediterranean Food Pyramid, as that' smost in line with my eating philosophy.

  9. I think people already know how to eat well: lots of veggies and fruits, everything else in moderation, no processed foods. I think its great that the old pyramid has been replaced but its not rocket science to know what's good for you and what's not. Definitely McDonald's isn't part of a balanced diet!

  10. Simple is always better when it comes to Americans. I agree with you that sugar and fats should be represented. My only complaint is where's the knife? :)~

  11. Claire your right i think simple is good
    Gloria well agree 100 %
    Maris thanks
    kankana smiles
    Bonnie thanks i do care
    anonymous interesting points great to have u here
    claudia good point
    Ruth my pleasure thats what blogs are all about
    EA i guess we can use the tools that work best for each person
    chef pandita so true
    julie he he i thought the same thing

  12. I suppose it's "easier" to think of quarters for portion size. It makes the transition easier than, say, almost half being veggies (my personal preference). But, I do like the British version more.

  13. Love this practical idea. The GI diet has this same way of organizing our meals. Great post as always Rebecca.

  14. I like your recommendations better. The bad thing is that a lot of foods people eat is process food which has lots of sugar.

    Fresh and homemade is a must to avoid this trap.

    Have a great weekend the four of you.


  15. yummychunklet true
    Rita :-)
    Mely well said

  16. Very informative post. Thanks for sharing!

  17. I like the visual and think it will be more effective than the pyramid. That's basically the way I was eating - lots of grains + veggies - until I put on on some unwanted weight so now I've been low-carbing it. I'd much prefer to eat as suggested here.

  18. Nami thanks
    Foodalogue great to hear that you think it will work for you :-)

  19. I think a visual is always helpful and although this version is a bit basic...of course if everything were added it would be a mess. Good to have you to fill in the details :)

  20. Rebecca, anything that is more simple and easy for consumers to understand is a good thing. I enjoy all of your informative posts about nutrition!



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