It was announced this morning that the much-derided USDA “food pyramid” has gone the way of the Pharaohs and will be replaced by a simpler “nutrition plate” that for the first time emphasizes vegetables over all other food groups.
The new system is designed to help Americans choose the ratio of food groups in their meals in order to have a healthy diet, get the right nutrition, and not be so obese.
The plate is divided into four sections: vegetables, fruit, grains, and protein. A smaller “side cup” is for dairy.
First released in 1992, the original food pyramid drew criticism for appearing to suggest that carbs be the biggest part of your diet. The grains portion occupied the bottom level of the pyramid and was much wider than all the others.
An update in 2005 tried to address concerns by splitting the pyramid into a serious of vertical rays rather than horizontal blocks. Most of the shafts were the same width, except meat and beans was slightly smaller and “oils” was very skinny.
The new graphic is part of a new wellness campaign located at ChooseMyPlate.gov that makes several other recommendations for healthy eating habits, like enjoying your food but eating less, avoiding oversized portions, and drinking water instead of soda.
Considering the suggested diet is very different from how many Americans eat, it will be interesting to see how they react.
ChooseMyPlate.gov [Official Site]