The U.S. Department of Agriculture has ditched its long-standing symbol of nutritional goodness, the food pyramid, and replaced it with something that’s actually associated with food: a plate.
The USDA unveiled its new campaign on Thursday (June 2), and it’s a lot more common-sensical than the pyramid (not to be confused with the Ron Swanson Pyramid of Greatness, which while awesome is not the soundest guide to healthy eating). The message, basically, is eat your vegetables: The plate as pictured above recommends that about half your food be fruits and vegetables, with grains, protein and dairy (represented by a glass) making up the rest.
So no more fretting over getting your pyramid-recommended six to 11 servings of grains per day (seriously? That’s a whole lotta carbs), or for that matter wondering exactly what a “serving” is. The plate is a much simpler, easier-to-understand design that, frankly, someone should have thought of a long time ago.
The USDA plate also comes with a few other guidelines for healthy eating, like “Enjoy your food, but eat less,” “Avoid oversized portions” and “Drink water instead of sugary drinks.” Hardly groundbreaking science there, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. More information is at the USDA’s Choose My Plate site.