You may have heard of MyPlate (previously the Food Pyramid), it’s the USDA’s new visual aid to assist us with making the right food choices. MyPlate makes it easier to understand the recommended food proportions and how much of your plate should be taken up by each food group.
So what are the new food recommendations behind MyPlate? First of all, grains are no longer recommended as the basis of your diet. A complete meal should include the three main food groups: fresh vegetables and fruit, lean protein, and whole grains. The small cup of dairy in the upper right corner of the MyPlate image represents a serving of any food derived from cow milk or its plant-based alternative like soy or almond milk, etc. This may be a cup of milk or a cup of yogurt.
MyPlate also stresses the importance of food portions. And that's where the MyPlate image comes in handy. A half of the plate, which basically represents a half of your meal, should consist of fresh vegetables and fruit, with more emphasis on the veggies. The other half is equally divided between lean protein and whole grains. Lean protein may include low-fat meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, beans, nuts, and seeds. Whole grains may consist of oatmeal, whole-grain bread or pasta, brown rice, and quinoa.
The same rules apply if you're on the gluten free diet. You're just making sure all your food is gluten free. You should pay special attention to grains and processed foods. Some of the naturally gluten free grains include rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, teff, amaranth, and corn. Oats should always be gluten free certified, and so should your processed foods. For more info on a healthy, balanced gluten free diet, click here.
This article has been written by our in-house Dietitian. If you have any nutrition-related inquiries, please contact us.