The well-known pyramid guide to healthy eating is out, and a dinner plate icon sliced up by food groups is in. Yesterday First Lady Michelle Obama helped unveil the USDA’s new and improved food pyramid, which is actually a plate, that will be used as part of her “Let’s Move“ campaign to fight childhood obesity. The new MyPlate icon, which includes colored sections for grains, proteins, fruits and vegetables and a dairy cup beside it, is part of the administration’s push to encourage healthy habits.
Thumbs Up For:
- The new icon offers a clearer visual of a healthy plate.
- It is extremely easy to understand.
- It discourages oversized portions.
- Vegetables comprise the largest sector.
- Collectively, fruits and vegetables are half the plate.
- It’s a nice departure from previous USDA icons (which you can see here) that mostly emphasize the importance of meat and dairy foods.
- Dairy foods appear as an optional group off to the side.
Thumbs Down For: The vague protein quadrant
- Protein is a nutrient, not a food.
- It doesn’t differentiate between meat, beans, poultry and fish, all of which the body metabolize and react to quite differently.
- Protein isn’t exactly lacking in the typical American diet, if anything it is over-consumed.
- Grains and dairy, each with their own section, also contain a healthy dose of protein.
What do you think?