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The USA’s new “My Plate” food guide.

13/06/2011
My Plate from the USDA

My Plate from the USDA

The USDA revamped its guide on what to eat the other day. It used to be a funny pyramid with lots of stripes on. I was never very keen on it, because it wasn’t very clear to me.

But I think I like this new one. It is clear and simple. And importantly, it is very clear that half of what you eat should be made up of fruit and veggies.

I think I might use this to help absolute beginners with their diets. But as soon as I can, I think I will still try to get people to use the Harvard School of Public Healths Healthy Eating Pyramid.

While not as blindingly simple as the “My Plate”, it is still easy to understand, and has a great deal more info on it. Information such as:

  • the difference between whole grains and reined grains.
  • the difference between plant and animal based fats/oils.
  • restricting sugary sweets/drinks treats etc.
  • getting some exercise every day.

I am a firm believer in the principle of Keep It Simple.  And when I have a problem that is not getting fixed, I try to simplify it, get the basics sorted, then gradually add more detail and complexity as and when appropriate.

And I know a lot of people out there (myself included) can be overwhelmed by all the millions of facts, figures and stories about weight control (you should/shouldn’t eat carbohydrates, you should/shouldn’t eat after 6pm, dietary fat is good/bad for us).  So I like anything that starts at square one but lets me move onwards from there.

This is square one.  If in doubt, make sure your dinner plate looks something like the above.  When this has become a second nature habit to you, move on to something like the Harvard Healthy Eating Pyramid or my 10 simple rules for healthy eating.

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