June 3, 2011
There's a new U.S. symbol for healthful eating. The U.S. Department of Agriculture unveiled "My Plate" this week, abandoning the food pyramid that had guided many Americans but confused others.
The new guide is divided into four slightly different-sized quadrants, with fruits and vegetables taking up half the space and grains and protein making up the other half. The vegetables and grains portions are the largest of the four.
According to USDA, the new symbol will convey seven key messages, including enjoy food but eat less, avoid oversized portions, make half your plate fruits and vegetables, switch to fat-free or low-fat (1 percent) milk, make at least half your grains whole grains, drink water instead of sugary drinks and compare sodium in foods like soup, bread and frozen meals, choosing foods with lower sodium.
The new website, www.choosemyplate.gov
, will feature interactive tools that help people manage their weight and track their exercise.