Myplate Celebrates 11th Anniversary

This June marks the 11th anniversary of Myplate replacing the Food Pyramid as visual aid for the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Although it has been eleven years since it started, many people may be unfamiliar with Myplate. Myplate is divided up by food groups: grains, fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy and protein. We’ll go over it briefly here but for more information you can go to Myplate.gov for information about nutrition, physical activity, shopping on a budget, recipes and more.

Myplate Basics

Grains: Try to make half your grains whole grains. Grains include breads, pastas, cereals, barely, rice, and popcorn. Whole grains are grains that have fiber (at least 3g per serving) in them like whole wheat breads, brown rice, oatmeal.

Fruit and Vegetables: Try to make half your plate fruit/vegetables. Whole fruit or vegetable will give you more nutrients and fruit juice, dried fruit, or canned fruit with syrup; but still they still count. Frozen, fresh, low sodium/no salt added canned foods are all good choices to get your fruit and vegetable intakes.

Protein: Try to vary protein intakes and choose lean meats, seafood or plant based proteins like soy, nuts, seeds, peas or beans.

Dairy: Dairy group includes milk, cheese, yogurt, and the USDA also includes soy milk and products as well. Ice cream, sour cream, butter, creams etc. do not count as a serving as dairy due to the low calcium and high fat content. Dairy group is more controversial, as you can have a healthy diet without eating dairy. Non dairy milks, fortified juice, dark leafy green veggies, some nuts/seeds are also good sources of calcium.