Have you seen the updated food pyramid from the United States Department of Agriculture? I know it’s not exactly running material, but since we eat to run and food is our fuel, it’s nice to see how the updated food guide coincides with existing menus. (Or lack thereof. What? Cheerios and a banana, green peppers and hummus with a pudding cup for dessert doesn’t equal a grown-up meal?)
Anyway, the new plate image gives a better visual aid for a balanced diet. “Vegetables” refers to all vegetables and legumes including beans and lentils; “Fruit” includes all fruits; “Grains” includes intact grains like oatmeal or brown rice and grain products such as breads, pasta and crackers (make them whole grains for better health and energy); “Protein” includes fish, chicken, meat, legumes, nuts, and eggs; “Dairy” includes milk, yogurt and cheese.
Some dieticians would like to shift the plate a bit already since the Vegetables section includes starches like potatoes, which could arguably be in the Grains category. They fear without enough non-starchy veggies, people won’t get enough fiber, so keep that in mind. Or, by bumping Fruit to a dessert/side, you can expand the amount of non-starchy vegetables on your plate. You could also merge the Dairy and Protein areas under the Protein label.
Here’s the updated plate:
I personally need to drastically increase the size of the Vegetables on my plate and reduce the amount of junk! Here’s to my September resolution for a bit healthier choices! Steamed broccoli and Cheerios, anyone?
For more recommendations on how to alter your plate for vegetarians, diabetics, and weight loss, click here.