When the USDA switched from the food pyramid to a new plate graphic , it did so to simplify healthy eating guidelines, but critics had issues with the inclusion of dairy and some lack of details. Harvard offers an alternative version.
The Harvard School of Public Health has previously provided similar, yet slightly different nutritional guidelines to the USDA’s recommendations that used to be in pyramid form, along the same lines: and A big change in the Harvard plate is the substitution of a glass of water instead of milk. There’s also now a bottle of healthy oils and more explanatory text.
Harvard says its healthy version is “is free of the politics surrounding the meat and dairy industries,” according to the article in The Kitchn.
The Healthy Eating Plate, created by experts at Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School, points consumers to the healthiest choices in the major food groups. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate, in contrast, fails to give people some of the basic nutrition advice they need to choose a healthy diet. The Healthy Eating Plate is based exclusively on the best available science and was not subjected to political and commercial pressures from food industry lobbyists. Here’s a table showing how the Healthy Eating Plate compares to the USDA’s MyPlate, section by section.
The Healthy Eating Plate
The Healthy Eating Plate encourages consumers to since whole grains are much better for health. In the body, refined grains like white bread and white rice act just like sugar. Over time, eating too much of these refined-grain foods can make it harder to control weight and can raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Read more about the health benefits of whole grains .
MyPlate does not tell consumers that whole grains are better for health.
The Healthy Eating Plate encourages consumers to that contain other healthful nutrients. It encourages them to since eating even small quantities of these foods on a regular basis raises the risk of heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, and weight gain. Read more about the benefits of choosing healthy protein .
MyPlate’s protein section could be filled by a hamburger or hot dog; it offers no indication that some high-protein foods are healthier than others, or that red and processed meat are especially harmful to health.
The Healthy Eating Plate encourages an abundant variety of vegetables, since Americans are particularly deficient in their vegetable consumptionexcept for potatoes and French fries. as refined grains and sweets, so limited consumption is recommended. Read more about the benefits of vegetables .
MyPlate does not distinguish between potatoes and other vegetables.
The Healthy Eating Plate recommends Read more about the benefits of fruits .
MyPlate also recommends eating fruits.
(Not included in MyPlate)
The Healthy Eating Plate depicts a bottle of healthy oil, and it encourages consumers in cooking, on salads, and at the table. These healthy fats reduce harmful cholesterol and are good for the heart, and Americans don’t consume enough of them each day. It also recommends Read more about the benefits of healthy fats and oils .
MyPlate is silent on fat, which could steer consumers toward the type of that makes it harder to control weight and worsens blood cholesterol profiles.
The Healthy Eating Plate encourages consumers to since it’s naturally calorie free, or t which are also great calorie-free alternatives. ( Questions about caffeine and kids? Read more .) It advises consumers to avoid sugary drinks, since these are major contributors to the obesity and diabetes epidemics. It recommends limiting milk and dairy to one to two servings per day, since high intakes are associated with increased risk of prostate cancer and possibly ovarian cancer; it recommends to just a small glass a day, because juice contains as much sugar and as many calories as sugary soda. Read more about healthy drinks and read more about calcium, milk and health .
MyPlate recommends dairy at every meal, even though there is little if any evidence that high dairy intakes protect against osteoporosis, and there is considerable evidence that too-high intakes can be harmful. MyPlate says nothing about sugary drinks or juice.
(Not included in MyPlate)
The figure scampering across the bottom of the Healthy Eating Plate’s placemat is a reminder that staying active is half of the secret to weight control. The other half is eating a healthy diet with modest portions that meet your calorie needs. Read more about the benefits of staying active .