Before I move on to diets designed for weight loss or managing chronic disease, I’m going to start with the basics: USDA recommendations for healthy Americans. These recommendations were formerly represented by the MyPyramid graphic.
The pyramid changed design a few times over the course of its lifetime. As of 2011, however, the USDA exchanged the pyramid for a more user-friendly graphic, MyPlate:
This plate model is designed to help keep portion sizes under control and encourage consumption of all five of the token USDA food groups. Personally, I think that the MyPlate graphic is easier than MyPyramid to translate into actual daily habits because it is simple to visually check when you fill your plate. The plate is accompanied by the following taglines from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines:
- Make half your grains whole
- Vary your protein choices
- Switch to skim or 1% milk
- Cut back on foods high in solid fats, added sugars, and salt
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
- Enjoy your food, but eat less
So there you have it – the USDA Dietary Guidelines 2010. In the upcoming month, I will be reviewing the arguments for and against these recommendations, and (surprise, surprise) there are plenty. I mean, they’re written by the government…so obviously not everybody agrees. Even Harvard University’s School of Public Health shared their disapproval in this article. There’s plenty of fodder for the blogging…stay tuned!