Nutrition guides outline dietary requirements which call for a variety of food intake to obtain essential nutrients and the right amount of calories to maintain healthy weight. They serve as excellent tools which help one make healthy food choices from the different food groups with clear indications of suggested intake.
MyPlate is the latest version of a nutrition guide produced by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2011 as an improvement on and a replacement for MyPyramid, which had been in existence since 2005.
The Havard School of Public Health went on to make further modifications to MyPlate and released their version, Havard Healthy Eating Plate, citing certain deficiencies in the former.
Healthy Eating Plate : The Ultimate Basic Guide – Simple Nutrition
The Healthy Eating Plate seeks to promote diet quality in general without specifying the daily calorie intake or servings with respect to the different food group. This is mainly due to the fact that calorie intake and nutritional needs are quite specific to the individual based on:
- activity level
- body size
The guide does indicate the need for physical activity as this plays a key role in weight management. Alcohol consumption on the other hand, has been excluded in this version given that it is not beneficial to all and sundry.
Below is a tabulated form of the food groups, proportion intakes and recommendations based on the Healthy Eating Plate.
|Fruits & Veggies||½ of your plate||assorted vegetables|
this excludes root vegetables like potatoes
fruits of all colours
|¼ of your plate||assorted whole grains|
whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, oats, barley, quinoa, whole wheat, brown rice, wheat berries
curb intake of white bread, white rice and refined grains
|Healthy Protein||¼ of your plate||versatile protein sources|
fish, poultry, nuts, beans
curb intake of cheese and red meat
eliminate processed meats e.g., bacon and sausage from diet
|in moderation||healthy vegetable oils|
olive oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, peanut oil, corn oil, soy oil
exclude partially hydrogenated oils which may have unhealthy trans fat
curb intake of butter
|curb intake of milk and other dairy products : 1 – 2 serving(s) daily|
curb intake of juice : 1 small glass daily
|water, beverages like coffee or tea with little or no sugar|
eliminate sugary beverages
Research studies do, in fact, indicate that a lower risk of heart disease can be attained when these clear-cut guidelines are followed. Visit the Harvard School of Public Health site for any further reading.