Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Pyramid is Out, the Plate is In

One year ago, the USDA eliminated the food pyramid from our childhood and replaced it with a plate divided into portion sizes. The new guide is simpler to use than the pyramid, and eliminates the "fat" and "sugar" elements. Print or order (free of charge) MyPlate materials.

To help meet your health goals, you can sign up for the USDA's SuperTracker, a free online tool that helps you:
  •  "Get your personalized nutrition and physical activity plan
  • "Track your foods and physical activities to see how they stack up
  • "Get tips and support to help you make healthier choices and plan ahead"
The SuperTracker also sends you motivational messages via text messages. If you don't want to signup for the program, you can also use the general plan. 

Regarding the new dietary guidelines, the USDA recommends the following:

"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."
 Download the PDF version of these tips and post them on your refrigerator. 

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