Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Choose My Plate

From Food Guide Pyramid to USDA's My Plate helps Americans graphically represent the 2010 Dietary Guidelines.

Because more than one-third of Americans are overweight or obese, the Dietary Guidelines focuses on reduced calorie consumption and increased physical activity. It is important to balance your activity with your calories. However, not all calories are created equally so the plate method graphically explains the importance of all foods and how they fit in a healthy diet.

According to the plate to the left, vegetables and grains make up the largest portions of the plate, then fruits and protein, and then dairy. So half of your plate should contain vegetables and fruits. According to the 2003 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, less than 1 out 10 Americans eat the recommended amount of vegetables and fruits per day. This is a shockingly low number. Americans tend to be very much focused on eating protein, however, high protein intakes can cause low intake of other critical nutrients. High protein intakes can also lead to loss of lean muscle mass, contrary to popular belief.

To know exactly what you should be eating, make an appointment with a Registered Dietitian to received unbiased information. Go to www.eatright.org to find a list of dietitians in your area. In the mean time, make healthy choices by using www.choosemyplate.gov