Last week, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has scrapped the pyramid guide to healthy eating in favour of a more user-friendly eating guide, called MyPlate.
The new guide is based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans to help consumers make better food choices. The colourful new guide resembles a dinner plate and was designed to remind Americans to eat healthfully by illustrating the five food groups.
A new website, www.ChooseMyPlate.gov, has been launched to accompany the guide. The website features selected messages to promote balanced, healthy eating, such as: enjoy your food, but eat less, avoid oversized portions, make half your plate fruits and vegetables, switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk, make at least half your grains whole grains, compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals and drink water instead of sugary drinks.
The well-known pyramid, which was first introduced in 1992 and stacked foods by suggested number of servings, was widely criticized for encouraging too many servings of grains. As well, food producers said the bottom-up ranking discouraged Americans from buying foods at the top of the pyramid.
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