State of America’s Plate

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Dietary Guidelines for Americans Summary:

Americans aren’t eating food in the proper portions and proportions. According to the guidelines, “In the United States, intakes of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, milk and milk products, and oils are lower than recommended. As a result, dietary intakes of several nutrients, potassium, dietary fiber, calcium, and vitamin D are low enough to be of public health concern for both adults and children.”

Meet MyPlate

MyPlate is the USDA’s newest guide to balanced, healthy eat- ing by using a healthy plate that balances the food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy and protein).

By making MyPlate for most meals you will remember to eat a healthy plate. It’s simple!

You can get personalized recommendations online at

• Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.

• Most people need 2.5 to 3 cup servings of veggies every day.

• A single cup serving is equiv- alent to 1 cup of veggies, or 2 cups of leafy greens.

• Most people need 1.5 to 2 cup servings of fruits every day.

• A single cup serving is equivalent to 1 cup of chopped fruit, 1 medium piece of fruit, or 1/2 cup of dried fruit.

• This is 4 to 5 cups of fruits and vegetables every day.

Make 1/4th of your plate grains. Make half your grains whole grains.

• Most people need 6-8 ounce servings of grain foods per day.

• An ounce serving is equivalent to 1 piece of bread, 1/2 cup of cooked rice or pasta, or 1 cup of dry cereal.

Eat a variety of protein foods and make them 1/4th of the plate.

• Most people need 5-6 ounce servings of protein foods per day and need to eat a wider variety of protein sources, usually by incorporating seafood and beans.

• An ounce serving is equivalent to an ounce of meat or fish, a hard boiled egg, 1/4 cup cooked dried beans, or 1 tablespoon of nut butter.

• Stick to lowfat or nonfat dairy.

• Most people need 3 cup servings of dairy per day.

• A cup serving is equivalent to 1 cup of skim milk or yo- gurt, 2 ounces of processed cheese or 1.5 ounces of natural cheese.


Enjoy your food but eat less and avoid oversized portions.

Compare sodium in foods and choose an option with low levels.

Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

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