The USDA Redesigns the Food Pyramid — What’s Changed?
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently revised their nutrition guidelines for Americans. As a result, the food pyramid of the past has given way to a whole new way to visualize our diet.
The pyramid, which was divided into 6 different food groups (grains, veggies, fruits, meat and beans, oils and milk) is now a plate with 5 groups (fruits, veggies, protein, grains and dairy). Because so many factors influence a person’s dietary needs (sex, age, activity level), serving sizes have been completely eliminated from the redesign. Instead, the five food groups represent a different portion size on the plate.
Fruits and vegetables should make up half your plate while the other half should be taken up by protein and grains. Dairy is a smaller portion off to the side. Ultimately, the USDA wants to convey just what a healthy meal should look like – and it does a pretty good job of it.
Unfortunately, the new plate visual is not without its limitations. There’s no mention of fats and oils in this redesign – not even the good kinds like omega-3s, which have a number of health benefits. The plate also makes it easy to over-eat fruits and veggies. Although they’re healthy, they still have calories – some more than others. Eating too much of anything result in weight gain. Still, the plate is much more easier to follow than the old pyramid, but there’s still room for improvement.
What do you think of the new guidelines? Let us know in the comments.
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