A new symbol for healthier eating

Thursday, June 2, 2011 - 2:30pm

The food pyramid is a thing of the past, now say hello to my plate!

Today First Lady Michelle Obama and others unveiled a new food icon designed to help Americans make healthier choices.

The icon is an example of how your plate should look at every meal, demonstrating the proper portions of fruit, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy.

Experts say giving Americans a visual guide is easier than trying to remember how many ounces, or servings of each food group you should have.

First Lady Michelle Obama explained not only will this help adults serve themselves a healthy plate, it will help busy parents prepare nutritional meals for their kids.
Experts say this is a great first step, but there is still progress to be made. More needs to be done to make fresh produce available to everyone, and ensure Americans are exercising too.

The 2010 dietary guidelines for Americans, launched in January of this year, form the basis of the Federal Government's Nutrition Education Programs, Federal Nutrition Assistance Programs, and dietary advice provided by health and nutrition professionals. The guidelines messages include:
Balance calories
- enjoy your food, but eat less.
- avoid oversized portions.
Foods to increase
- make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
- switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
- make at least half your grains whole grains
Foods to reduce
- compare sodium (salt) in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals, and choose foods with lower numbers.
- drink water instead of sugary drinks.

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