Out with the Old..in with the PLATE

The shape of healthy eating is about to change for you and your family. Federal Health Officials are tossing out the food pyramid and replacing it with the plate! First introduced in1992, the food guide pyramid has been a symbol of eating right for the last two decades. It’s replacement in 2005 by “MyPyramid” was a less than optimal change with many complaints that it was just too confusing. As a registered dietitian and educator of healthy eating and nutrition, I am welcoming this update. Happily saying goodbye to the old pyramid and particularly excited about this newfound idea of the plate. What better way to symbolize healthy eating, right? Starting with something familiar to the public eye- everyone, of all age range, can recognize a plate, right?

Word is that officials are dishing up a simple, plate-shaped symbol, sliced into four wedges. It contains grains, protein, fruits and vegetables. Next to the plate is a smaller circle for dairy which might suggest a glass of low-fat milk or a yogurt cup, but not to forget one of my favorite dairy foods- (low fat) cheese!! Along with the visual appeal of a deliciously healthy meal, there will be a “how-to” section with six messages to guide you to healthy living. These six how-to messages will include:

Balancing Colors
**enjoy your food, but eat less.
**avoid oversized portions

Foods to Increase
**make half your plate fruits and veggies
**switch to fat free milk or low fat

Foods to Reduce
**compare sodium levels in foods– and choose lower numbers
**drink water instead of sugary drinks

Set for its release this morning- keep your eye out for the new ChooseMyPlate launch. Personally- I teach the ‘plate method’ daily- encouraging my clients to fill half their plate with non-starchy veggies, a quarter with a whole grain, and the remaining quarter with a lean protein. Needless to say, I am eager to learn the remaining details and incorporate this (somewhat) new teaching tool into my bag of tricks- fit for getting the public, well.. fit!

See my guest post on the Texas Health Mom’s Blog today, too!

Comments

  1. michael says:

    The previous method of representing suggested dietary combinations made the image itself completely arbitrary. The original food pyramid was simple enough, and it got the point across.

    The real problem, of course, is that we have come to take eating as a pastime. Eating should be seen as a means to an end: the squelching of hunger. I went to my local ice cream shop the other day, and I ordered a small cup. Half-way through, I saw no reason to continue eating. I couldn't really taste it anymore, but I felt compelled to continue eating because it was there. The fact that I wasn't enjoying it wasn't stopping me, so I stopped myself and threw the rest of it out.

    What is WITH portion sizes? You can't eat outside of your own abode without having to order an absurd amount of food. Most diners won't want to deal with you after breakfast if you show up asking for a quarter of a burger and a potato with some asparagus. If you eat out, it's usually the case that any particular order will not give you a balanced meal.

    The other problem is that it isn't feasible to operate an establishment that serves small portions because the other establishments that serve absurd amounts of food in awful combinations will be perceived as offering greater "value." That's the trouble: our society is one, at least in some cases, as in the case of food, that doesn't really question itself when it attributes value to things.

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