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Understanding What's on MyPlate

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MyPyramid logo Ever wonder what foods you should be eating and how much? Well, the website www.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.

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:

Color Food Group
Orange Grains
Green Vegetables
Red Fruits
Blue Dairy
Purple Protein foods

The Keys to a Healthy You

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

MyPlate

The MyPlate tab highlights all the food groups. First, you get an overview. Once you get comfortable, dive in and read about each group individually.

Food Groups

If you need a starting place, check out the food groups page. Here you can learn how to boost your vegetable intake, or find low fat alternatives to common dairy products. Are you confused about portion sizes? Don't worry, all the information can be found here. In general, you'll want to remember these nutrition basics:

Weight Management and Calories

Under the weight management and calories tab, you can find ways you to reduce your calorie intake. Sometimes, easy substitutions can make a big difference. For example, eat less foods that are high in sodium. To find out how much sodium is in your food, check the Nutrition Facts label. Often, there are low sodium options available.

If you want to cut back on sugar, consider switching from soft drinks to water. If you aren't ready to make that jump, switch to sugar-free soft drinks, then slowly increase your water intake while you decrease your soft drink intake.

Physical Activity

You can't lose or manage weight without physical activity. The MyPlate website can also help you find ways to increase your activity level, even if you think you're destined to be a couch potato. Head over to the physical activity section and learn about the benefits of regular exercise.

SuperTracker

Now that you're on your way to a better you, how do you log your diet and physical activity achievements? With SuperTracker of course! SuperTracker is a place where you can set your goals, personalize your plans, and track your progress. Not only that, you can find helpful tips while getting support from other people who are doing the same thing.

MyPlate has lots of information for people of all ages, from preschoolers to college students. If you pregnant or a new mom who is breastfeeding, MyPlate has something for you too. MyPlate and SuperTracker are useful tools to put you on the right track for a healthy lifestyle.

MyPlate has lots of information for people of all ages, from preschoolers to college students. If you pregnant or a new mom who is breastfeeding, MyPlate has something for you too. MyPlate and SuperTracker are useful tools to put you on the right track for a healthy lifestyle.

  • US Department of Agriculture

    http://www.choosemyplate.gov

  • Healthfinder

    http://healthfinder.gov

  • Dietitians of Canada

    http://www.dietitians.ca

  • Health Canada

    http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

  • Choose my plate. US Department of Agriculture Choose My Plate website. Available at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov. Accessed June 12, 2013.

  • Dietary guidelines for Americans 2010. US Department of Agriculture and US Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2010/DietaryGuidelines2010.pdf. Accessed June 12, 2013 .

  • SuperTracker. US Department of Agriculture SuperTracker website. Available at: https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/default.aspx. Accessed June 12, 2013.