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USDA’s MyPlate Replaces MyPyramid
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently released MyPlate - a new graphic for healthy eating, replacing the food pyramid (MyPyramid). The plate, designed in four quadrants, encourages portion control and balancing calories among fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and dairy.

USDA My PlateWhat Should Be On Your Plate

A sample plate should consist of:
  • ¼ whole grains

  • ¼ lean protein

  • ½ non-starchy fruits and vegetables

  • optional small serving of non-fat or low-fat dairy

The MyPlate model is encouraged by first lady Michelle Obama as the newest endeavor to help reduce obesity and chronic illness rates in the United States. Supporters of this new icon believe it will help individuals visualize what their meals should look like, replacing the difficult to interpret meal choices from the previous MyPyramid.

What You Should Know 
  • Protein intake should also include plant-based sources such as beans and legumes, in addition to lean meat, poultry, and fish.
  • Choose foods with a whole grain ingredient listed first on the food label ingredient list.
  • Learn what counts as a serving.
“Overall, the USDA is on target with this new image which emphasizes portion-controlled diets full of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, non-fat or low-fat dairy, lower-sodium foods, and water instead of sugary drinks” says Allison Mignery, Registered Dietician with the Mecklenburg County Health Department. “The image of the plate sends a message that all Americans, regardless of age, can easily understand. MyPlate will hopefully lead to more individuals creating nutrient-dense meals that are correctly portioned” she continued.

To learn more about this initiative, visit

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