Use tips from MyPlate to eat healthy

Consumers are bombarded with information regarding healthy diets these days. For reliable, accurate and helpful information on how to eat healthy and feed your family well, look to MyPlate.

Do you get overwhelmed when trying to eat healthfully? We are bombarded with nutrition messages about nutrition facts, calories, fat, carbohydrates and portion sizes all the time. Sometimes it can be difficult to know which information is accurate and which may be a fad. Fortunately, theUSDA released MyPlate in 2012. This is a quick, simple and reliable resource to help us learn about and incorporate healthy eating into our lives. MyPlate shows which food we need, and how much, through an illustration of our plate. MyPlate divides sections of our plates into a section for protein, grains, fruits, vegetables and dairy. Visit MyPlate to learn more. Here are some MyPlate-based tips to help get you started.


We should choose healthy sources of protein like beans which are low in fat and high in fiber, more often. Fish and lean meats are also good sources of healthy protein. Choose high-fat and high-sodium protein sources like bacon, hot dogs and sausages occasionally.


Dairy is important for maintaining strong bones and more. Choose low-fat milk, low-fat cheese and low-fat yogurt to provide your body with the calcium it needs without extra fat and calories. Did you know that skim milk (fat-free) milk has the same amount of calcium and Vitamin D as whole milk?


Try to make sure that at least half of your daily grains come from whole grains. These have more fiber than refined grains. Choose whole wheat pasta and bread, brown rice and even popcorn (minus the butter and salt) for the added benefit of fiber.

Fruits and Vegetables

Half our plate should be filled with colorful fruits and vegetables. Focus on dark green, orange and red vegetables such as spinach, tomatoes and sweet potatoes. These vegetables are full of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Add fruits to side dishes or eat then for dessert. Limit fruit juice to one glass per day. Rather than juice, reach for a piece of whole fruit which provides fiber.

Eating slower and savoring the taste and texture of food can prevent overeating. Listen to your body and pay attention to how you feel. If you find that you are still hungry and looking for seconds fill up on more vegetables! They are low in fat and nutrient dense. Using a smaller plate can also help you manage portion sizes to help you to feel satisfied and not stuffed. MyPlate shows us that smaller portions of protein and grains and eating more vegetables and fruit is healthy Learn more about building a healthy meal and get 10 Tips to Building a Healthy Plate and more from the USDA’s MyPlate site.

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