What are the goals of the USDA MyPlate nutrition recommendations?

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MyPlate is the most recent tool released by the USDA that serves as an icon to remind consumers to eat healthfully. It depicts the five food groups using a familiar mealtime visual, a place setting. MyPlate is the focal point for a larger, web-based communication and education initiative at ChooseMyPlate.gov that provides information, tips and tools to help you build a healthier diet based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. Also available at ChooseMyPlate.gov is an interactive food guidance system that is based on the USDA Food Patterns, which will provide you with a personalized food plan based on the latest nutrition and health recommendations.

The goals of MyPlate are to visually help Americans consume a nutrient-rich, calorie appropriate, balanced diet that includes a variety of foods in moderation, and that will better manage their health and weight.
MyPlate, USDA's food pyramid
Toby Smithson
Nutrition & Dietetics

Four main goals have been set through the MyPlate guidelines. The goals include: make half your plate filled with produce (fruits and vegetables); make at least half of your grain choices whole grains; switch to skim or 1% milk and yogurt instead of 2% or whole milk; and vary your protein food choices which include beans, nuts, soy, lean meat, poultry, and eggs. Additional goals include: cutting back on sodium, solid fats, and added sugars and being physically active (children 60 minutes/day and adults 30 minutes most days of the week).

According to the recommendations of the new food guide pyramid, some goals include:
  1. Make half your grains whole, get more fiber and nutrients from good sources of whole grain in your diet. 
  2. Vary your veggies and make sure to get 3-5 servings each day. 
  3. Focus on fruit and strive for 2-4 servings daily. 
  4. Go lean with protein, choose lean meats, low fat dairy, or nuts and legumes as protein sources. 
  5. Find your balance between food and physical activity -- find something you enjoy doing each day that gets your body moving.

Continue Learning about USDA MyPlate

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.