The ubiquitous Food Pyramid is going away, and a new plate-based food graphic is taking its place.
The food pyramid has been the subject of quite a bit of controversy. A group of doctors even sued the USDA and Department of Health for putting special interests before sound nutritional advice in the last Food Pyramid. There are a number of alternatives out there, including some plant-based food pyramids.
So, what does this new “plate” look like? Marion Nestle shared a peek at it yesterday:
The idea is that the plate graphic will be easier for people to understand, but do you guys feel like it represents a more balanced diet than the protein- and grain-heavy pyramid we’re used to?
A Plate Divided
So, what would a healthy plate look like? That depends on who you ask, and there are a myriad of answers, some plant-based, some including meat and dairy.
The official new graphic represents the updated Dietary Guidelines (pdf), which recommend eating fewer solid fats and sugars and replacing them with whole foods; replacing refined grains with whole grains, eating more fruits, vegetables, and seafood and fewer salts; and eating/drinking more dairy products.
Anyone suspect that some dairy industry dollars contributed to that last recommendation?
Of course, it’s easy to talk about the ideal diet and not always quite so easy to eat that way in your day to day. I thought I’d have a little fun and make a plate that reflects my own diet, and I’d love to hear what your plate looks like (or see it, if you’ve created one!):
As you can see, my diet definitely has its flaws. It varies a lot depending on what our CSA brings us, and I tend to overdo it on sweets when I keep them in the house. I usually have a beer or a glass of wine with dinner and one later on while I’m hanging out with my friends or my husband, which is probably more than the new guidelines would like. Drawing it out like that was actually sort of eye-opening!
What about you guys? What do you think makes for a healthy plate? Is it close to what’s on your actual plate?
Orange Pyramid. Creative Commons photo by dominiquegodbout
Plate graphic by Becky Striepe