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Introducing a Newly Revised MyPlate with Nutrition Edge: The Healthy Eating Plate

By — One of many Nutrition blogs on

Although the U.S. Department of Food and Agriculture (USDA) launched their healthy eating tool and addendum to MyPyramid known as MyPlate less than one-year ago, the Harvard School of Public Health has already offered an enhanced version referred to as the Healthy Eating Plate.

The original version of MyPlate is a basic display of a dinner plate divided into appropriately sized sections for each food group: fruit, vegetables, grains, protein, and a glass off to the side representing dairy. While many have critiqued MyPlate for it's simplicity, others have praised this aspect as it is easy to understand and great for use in nutrition education for all ages. However, there still remains a group of people who need greater details. For example, the food group title of "grains" does not give you any indication of what grains might be better for you than others, rather allowing you to believe white processed pasta is equal in nutrition to a whole grain pasta (of course YOU already know whole grains are preferred! *smile*). The same reins true in the other categories as well:

It is largely because of these unanswered questions within MyPlate that the Harvard School of Public Health chose to offer a new solution. A solution that provides greater insight into each one of the five food groups and helps answer the most basic nutrition questions, helping you know what you should include on YOUR Healthy Eating Plate.

The Healthy Eating Plate provides most of the same basic food groups, yet replaces the glass of dairy with a water glass with the recommendation to limit your dairy to 1-2 servings per day. Harvard nutrition experts also chose to include an additional component with a small jar of healthy oils off to the side to guide us towards healthy fat choices. Here is a quick run down of this new tool:

Certainly great advice with a few controversial recommendations sprinkled in, advice which will surely cause a stir in the food and nutrition world. I certainly admire that about the Harvard School of Public Health, they are not afraid to voice their opinion in the non-profit world :)

What do you think of this advice? Is this more or less helpful than the USDA's original MyPlate? Do you agree with the dairy recommendations offered by Harvard or USDA?

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