Good bye food pyramid and welcome to the game, "Healthy Plate!" For the past 19 years the U.S. Dietary Guidelines has used the food pyramid as a way to educate the US population about to how to eat. "My Plate" is replacing the guideline. The plate is spit up into four sections - red for fruits, green for vegetables, orange for grains and purple for protein. There is a separate blue section for dairy on the side.

The goal with the new "My Plate" is actively changing American's eating behavior. "It's an icon that works, says WebMD nutrition director Kathleen Zelman, RD. ‘We now have an easy-to-understand layout of what constitutes a healthy meal,' Zelman says. ‘Whether you are grocery shopping, packing lunches, or assembling a meal on a plate, the new food plate icon will serve as a constant reminder of the essential ingredients for a nutritious meal -- five easy pieces.'"

My concern with the new My Plate is that mostly the grains section still seems rather large. When I am talking with my patients about food, I tell them about 2/3 of their plate should be fruits and veggies, while the other 1/3 should be split up between size appropriate portion of protein and some whole grains.

The WebMD website listed some top-line advice for the new My Plate. They include "balance calories by enjoying food but eating less, and by avoiding oversize portions. Eat more good stuff: Make half the plate fruit and vegetables, switch to nonfat or low-fat milk. Eat less bad stuff: Look for lower-sodium soups, breads, and frozen meals; drink water instead of sugary drinks."

It is important to remember to sit down to a table and enjoy the food that is in front of us. Instead we eat too quickly or in front of the TV, leaving behind the time it takes to savor the flavors, to experience new foods or just enjoy every moment of our lives.

Below is a direct link to the new My Plate (PDF), which includes some very good ideas and suggestions.

Reference - WebMD