New US Dietary Guidelines – Goodbye Pyramid, Hello Plate

The nineteen year old food pyramid has been toppled.  The US Dietary Guidelines have just been released and the new icon is (wait for it)……

a dinner plate.  What could be more simple and straight forward? (Really it cost $2 million to create?)

Anyone remember the last “My Pyramid”?  Easy to forget as their was so much going on with it.


The new icon makes it clear that fruits and veggies should make up half of your meal, while protein is the smallest part of the plate. The grain portion is a bit larger and still offers the advice to “make half your grains whole.” Some nutritionists say leaves too much room for less healthy refined grains such as white rice and white bread.  Anyways this seems a step in the right direction and certainly a big departure from the first guidelines from the 1950’s when food was more scarce (and governement wanted to be sure you were getting enough nutrients) to the 1980’s when the abundance of food became the problem.

The White House is spearheading the launch of the icon, aimed at boosting awareness of new federal dietary guidelines issued in January. The easier to understand icon goes along with Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move anti-obesity initiative, and will be seen everywhere from restaurants, schools, workplaces and grocery stores.

The six main points of the new guidelines include:

1. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables

2. Avoid supersized portions

3. Enjoy tasty meals but eat less

4. Switch to low-fat or fat free dairy products

5. Read labels and pick foods with less sodium

6. quench thrist with water instead of sweet drinks

See more details and read entire story on Healthline here.

I for one am in favor of the new icon and nutrition education and am glad the message is more current, and getting clearer from our government.  Let’s hope people pay attention to the advice.