fill your plate

remember growing up with posters of the food pyramid in your school cafeteria? memorizing portions and placement for health class? and then forgetting most all of it in college thanks to the unlimited free frozen yogurt machine and cereal bar? yes, well, for young people everywhere, the food pyramid is a thing of the past. instead, cafeterias across the united states will now be displaying the usda's newest diet suggestions, the food circle, or plate:

for those of you who are dorks like me and read food labels, count carbohydrates and attempt to eat reasonably healthy (brownie binges aside), i found this new approach, released today by the usda and first lady michelle obama, very interesting. instead of suggesting numbers of servings per food group, the plate merely says things like "fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables". apparently nutritional experts say the old food pyramid was unrealistic and too difficult. the idea is to simplify the process - instead, giving individuals a basic idea of how their plate should look at meals. the usda has also issued rules or suggestions to accompany this plate such as:
- make at least half your plate fruits and vegetables
- make at least half your grains whole
- switch to fat free or 1% milk
- avoid sugary drinks

i don't know about you, but i think this whole idea is a bit less concrete and a bit more difficult to wrap my brain around. i get the general idea, but because i have the pleasure of being type I diabetic and as a result have come to learn the average serving sizes (and the basic nutritional facts) of just about everything, i honestly find the "servings" idea a little easier to follow - especially if i'm eating more small meals during the day. but then again, i adhere best to specifics and we tend to prefer what we know. what are your thoughts? do you think this new approach will change the way we eat in america?

you can read more about the new food plate at www.choosemyplate.gov

p.s. what happened to the "fats, sweets and oils" pyramid topper category? that one was my favorite. 

images: 1.tatielle 2.usda

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