Thursday, June 2, 2011

Our Daily Food Intake

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released new guidelines for daily food intake and it is in the model of a plate.

The 20 + year old food pyramid is finally replaced by a plate and a glass. This is a joint effort on the part of first lady Michelle Obama to make the kids familiar with healthy food choices. "We realized that we needed something that made sense, not just in classrooms or laboratories, but at dinner tables and school cafeterias," says the First Lady.

The plate is divided into four portions. Half is for vegetables and fruits, a quarter goes to grains and the remaining to proteins. One of the biggest criticism of the food pyramid was that it did not easily translate to a typical plate. This plate does exactly that. It is a direct visualization of what you are eating.  The critics do complain though that it might be too simple and does not account for the fats and sugars.

I personally feel the plate is a great concept. It is simple and easy to remember. Now i can look at my plate and visualize the four portions. This is definitely a good start.

 USDA's new message is:

Balancing Calories

Enjoy your food, but eat less.

Avoid oversized portions.

Foods to Increase

Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.

Make at least half your grains whole grains.

Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.

Foods to Reduce

Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals and choose the foods with lower numbers.

Drink water instead of sugary drinks.   

More information can be found here. Happy and healthy eating!

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