The Road to a Healthier Lifestyle
Small changes in your diet can lead to big changes in your health!
Change is good! As many of us have seen by now, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) replaced the historical food pyramid with the image of a plate. While the pyramid had the best intentions of promoting a balanced diet and healthy eating, it was missing the key aspect of how much of each food group to eat at each meal. This is where the new plate excels – it clearly displays a plate divided into sections of varying size to show the proportions of vegetables, fruits, protein foods, and grains.
The vibrant symbol is accompanied by the following key messages, in an effort to help us eat healthy while controlling portions:
It is important to balance your calories:
Enjoy your food, but eat less. Avoid “super-sized” portions.
Be sure to eat more of these foods:
Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. Make sure at least half of the grains you eat are whole grains.
Eat less of these foods:
Compare the sodium in foods like bread, soup, and frozen meals - and choose the foods with lower numbers.
Change the way you drink:
Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk, avoid fruit juices (eat the whole fruit instead), and drink water at meals and between meals. Side note: The majority of children should be switched from whole milk to low-fat/fat-free milk after the age of 2 years.
Overall, the new plate delivers new messages via a more modern approach to health. By breaking up the key messages and incorporating some fun physical activity into your day, the road to a healthier lifestyle seems easy and perhaps even enjoyable! When making small changes in your way of living (and that of your family), remember that it’s not only the endpoint that matters, it’s the journey.
Cheers to a healthier lifestyle!