Understanding What's on MyPlate
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Understanding What's on MyPlate

MyPyramid logo Ever wonder what foods you should be eating and how much? Well, ChooseMyPlate.gov from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) may have the simple answer you are looking for! The USDA created MyPlate as a way to illustrate the relative amounts of different types of food people should eat daily to achieve a healthy, balanced diet. There is also an interactive website containing a wealth of information, including explanations of food groups; common foods in each group; detailed guidelines for good nutrition; and personalized tools for tracking eating habits. All of this can be found at www.choosemyplate.gov.

What's on MyPlate?

Each colored area on the plate represents a different food group as well as an idea of how much food from that group should be on your plate:

ColorFood Group
PurpleProtein foods

The Keys to a Healthy Diet

On the main page of the MyPlate website you will find the MyPlate symbol, along with these key messages:

Balance Calories

  • Enjoy your food, but eat less.
  • Stay away from oversized portions.

Eat More of These Foods

Eat Less of These Foods

  • Eat less foods that are high in sodium. Choose foods that are low in sodium. To find out how much sodium is in the food, check the Nutrition Facts label.
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

If you want to delve deeper, you can click on the many other useful webpages on the MyPlate website that will allow you to apply the nutritional guidelines to your personal situation, so it is worth checking out. Yes, MyPlate is a simple way to get you on the right track for a healthy lifestyle.





Canada's Food Guide

Dietitians of Canada


ChooseMyPlate.gov. United States Department of Agriculture. ChooseMyPlate website. Available at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/. Updated June 14, 2011. Accessed June 15, 2011.

Severson K. Ideas and trends: the government’s pyramid scheme. The New York Times. April 24, 2005;4:14.

Last reviewed April 2011 by Brian Randall, MD

Last updated Updated: 6/15/2011

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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