Food plate replaced food pyramid. Instead of stacking food groups in a pyramid (in the order of consumption), food groups are now being laid out on a plate. Instead of pyramid suggesting portions of various food groups striped in rainbow color there will be a new circular chart depicting recommended meals.
More interesting than the design change are the category modifications but missing few items. Let’s compare pyramid with plate and how implementing it will help make our diet healthy.
- Fruits and vegetables have taken a centre stage, comprising largely half of the plate. Suggesting half of your meal should be vegetables-cooked plus raw (salad) and fruit. Both these food groups contribute to provide essential vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants guarding our body from any infection. Vegetables are organized into 5 subgroups- dark green leafy, red& orange vegetables, beans & peas,starchy and other vegetables, based on their nutrient content.
- Former “Meats and Beans” group from pyramid is now simply “Proteins,” The plate further states that at least 50% of the proteins should be lean proteins- pulses, chicken, egg white or lean fish as against meat, ham or organ meat. With an increase in cardiovascular problems and obesity, these guidelines extend a helping hand for consumers to diligently select what they are consuming.
- One more food group from food pyramid “Milk” is also changed now to “Dairy.” The new guidelines indicate a switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk from full cream milk.
- Grains which were earlier given a major bottom slab at the bottom now form 65% of a main meal. The new icon nutrition plate states that at least half of the grains consumed should be whole grain ensuring that you get enough fibre in your diet.
- Close attention to the new MyPlate image shows that there is no representation and guidance for Fats/Oils. Fats/Oil are often linked to many health issues, including risk of heart disease.
Besides some specific advice on food groups, new plate recommends:
- Enjoy your food, but eat less
- Avoid oversized portions
- Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals ― and choose the foods with lower numbers
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks
The real aim for new plate undoubtedly is too make healthy eating more easier to understand and implement. Since we use plates at our meals, it’s easy to translate what a well-rounded, nutritional healthy meal should look like.