MyPlate, the newest incarnation of the USDA’s food icons was introduced as a replacement for MyPyramid in June, 2011.
It has five main food groups
1. Fruits 2. Vegetables 3. Grains 4. Protein 5. Dairy
MyPlate provides a visual tool to teach you how to load your plate so you feel full on fewer calories and get plenty of fiber and nutrients.
There’s also a companion website for MyPlate at http://www.choosemyplate.gov
Meet the Fruit Group
Any fruit can be part of the fruit group, though whole, fresh fruit is best. Try:
• Fresh fruit – fill up on seasonal and bulk specials to save money
• Canned fruit – packed in water or juice, not syrup
• Dried fruit – use sparingly, as these are higher in calories
• Frozen fruit - avoid added sugar
• 100% fruit juice – get pure juice but remember whole fruit is better.
People should eat about 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit per day.
Meet the Vegetable Group
There are five subgroups in the vegetable group. They are:
• Dark green vegetables • Red and orange vegetables • Beans and peas • Starchy vegetables • Other vegetables
Most people should eat between 2.5 and 3 cups of veggies every day. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.Most people need 4 to 5 cups of fruits and veggies each day!
Meet the Grain Group
There are two kinds of grains: whole and pro- cessed. Make at least half the grains you eat every day whole grains – they’re much better for you.
Most people should eat between three and four ounces of grain per day.
Meet the Protein Group
Eat mostly lean protein and make sure it fills only a quarter of your plate.
Foods that belong in the protein group include: Meat, Poultry, Seafood, Beans and peas, Eggs, Processed soy, Nuts, Seeds.
Most people should eat between five and six ounces of protein per day. Get your protein from a variety of sources. Plant based protein is best for your heart.
Meet the Dairy Group
Search for products that are low in fat, sugar, and sodium including: Skim or 1% Milk, Non-fat yogurt.
Cream, butter, and cream cheese are not significant sources of calcium.
Most people should consume three cups of low-fat or fat-free dairy per day.
Stephanie Ronco has been editing in a professional capacity for the past 10 years. In addition to her work as an editor, Ronco has also served as a ghostwriter and writing tutor. A voracious reader, Ronco loves watching language evolve and change. When she’s not delving into her latest project, Ronco can be found teaching acting classes, performing in community theater, or sailing with her husband.