Where are sugars, fats and oils on the USDA MyPlate?

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.

As you can see from the figure, MyPlate is a dinner plate split into multiple sections, each representing each of the five food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy. While oils are an important part of a healthy diet, they are not depicted on the plate as they are not considered a food group.

Oils such as canola, olive, soybean, and sunflower provide important fat soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids that you need daily, but with less of the heart unhealthy saturated fat found in solid fats such as butter. Use oils modestly within the contexts of a healthy diet.
MyPlate, USDA's food pyramid
Toby Smithson
Nutrition & Dietetics

You will not find a picture depicting sugars, fats and oils on the USDA MyPlate. Cutting back on solid fats, added sugar, as well as sodium are part of the recommendations for MyPlate. Specific recommendations include swapping out your sugar sweetened beverage for water, choosing high (solid) fat foods as a sometime food and not an everyday food, and choosing lower sodium foods. The guideline offers better oil choices (olive, canola, corn, etc.) in place of solid fats (lard, shortening, meat fat, etc.). An added note on the fat recommendation is to switch from saturated fats to healthier mono or polyunsaturated fats but to keep in mind your serving size. Just because you are using a healthy fat does not mean you can eat all you want.

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.