Drug Free Sport Staff Writers

Drug Free Sport Staff Writers

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Choose My Plate - 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

In January, the USDA released the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and have recently launched the new website and symbol. Moving away from the Pyramid look, which has been a symbol since 1992, the USDA introduced “My Plate” to illustrate the five food groups using a familiar visual. The new focus is to encourage Americans to consume more healthy foods and to limit intake of things such as added sugar, trans fat, and sodium. Instead of the previous approach, suggesting how many servings of each food group is adequate per day, the USDA is suggesting which food groups to eat more of, or make a bigger portion of your “plate”, and which to limit your intake of. These guidelines provide action steps for Americans to incorporate.

The new guidelines suggest:

Avoid oversized portions
Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat (at least half your plate)
Make at least half of the grains you eat whole grains
Drink low-fat or fat-free milk
Cut back on added sugars and solid fats
Consume less sodium by comparing the amount in foods such as frozen meals and soups
Drink water instead of sugary drinks (such as soda, juices, energy drinks, etc.)

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines offer a fresh approach for Americans on what a healthy diet should look like. The focus has shifted to what you should eat more of and what you should consume less of. The new conceptual view of what your plate should look like can also help you visualize better than using “servings”.

The USDA offers ways to track food intake, learn about food groups, and create food plans online at www.choosemyplate.gov. You will find a wealth of information here, including tips for a healthy diet.

Following these guidelines can help you learn to not only control your caloric intake (and in turn your weight), but eat for lifelong health and performance.

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