My Plate Adapted
My Plate is the latest version of the USA food guide. This recommends the daily servings needed for good nutrition from all the food groups. The biggest change was increasing the vegetables and fruits needed, the plate is used to judge portion size instead of the number of servings.
The idea is to balance food groups at each meal using your plate as a guide to how much of each food group to eat. The MyPlate diagram below has been modified by the Harvard medical School. This is a movement away from number of servings and portion sizes.
Our adaption to the above diagram is to add servings to the vegetable and fruit sections to guide people as to what they need. A basic human feeding ration could be described as 4 vegetable and 2 fruit servings daily. That is 3 cups worth.
Another blog post outlines how the 6 a day technical summary was developed from research and what people in BC were actually eating (see 6-a-Day post). It is amazing how this simple eating ration is so effective at balancing out the other food groups as the diagram above suggests.
I looked at food guides from around the world and not just in Canada and the USA. The livestock sector has such precise feeding regimes for all kinds of animals for each stage of their life cycle. Why is human feeding such a confusing mess? No one knows what a serving is, there is no link between the packages in the store and servings needed on your plate, plus empty calories are too easy to gorge on.
MyPlate tries to help people at their point of eating to regulate food intake to match what daily requirements are. Using the plate is a good idea but still leaves doubt about how much to pile on.
Healthy eating is complex and time consuming and grabbing empty calories is so easy in our society. Do you want your body to fall apart in your 60’s? How about hundreds or thousands a month in drug costs? Are these the senior years you are looking forward too? Well, get your 6 a day and use MyPlate to balance food groups at each meal. That will help you battle through these dark and dangerous times.