USDA unveils MyPlate as the new food icon
experts supports a low-fat,
plant-based diet for optimal health. The American Dietetic Association (ADA),
the largest organization of nutrition experts, states that "vegetarian
diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful,
nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and
treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for
individuals during all stages of the lifecycle, including
pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for
Keeping in line the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently
released “My plate,” that gives a graphic representation of the mealtime
configuration of food. What we get see is a circular plate divided into four
sections representing four food groups:
vegetables (green sector),
grains (orange), fruits
(red), protein (purple).
The dairy group is represented by a small blue circle next to the plate;
intended to illustrate a glass of fat-free or low-fat milk, or cup of yogurt.
Vegetables represent the largest sector on the plate. Together, fruits and
vegetables represent half the plate; grains and “protein” each represent less
than one quarter of the plate. What makes the protein group unique is that
protein is a nutrient, but has always been grouped as a food.
The plate as a guide is a huge shift. The plate encourages whole grains over
refined grains, but does not discourage
To go along with the new icon, there is a new set of guidelines. Some of these
new guidelines are:
Enjoy your food, but eat less.
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
water instead of sugary drinks.
The plate icon advises all to limit high-fat products like meat and cheese.
The protein portion of the USDA's MyPlate is unnecessary, because beans, whole
grains, and vegetables are loaded with it. And MyPlate reserves a special place
for dairy products, which are packed with fat and
may increase the risk of health problems ranging from
asthma to some types of
cancer. There are many more healthful sources of calcium.
- WF Team
Dated 18 June 2011