In June 2011, MyPlate replaced the MyPyramid image as the U.S. government's primary food group symbol. It is an easy-to-understand visual cue to help consumers adopt healthy eating habits consistent with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
MyPlate provides practical information to individuals, health professionals, nutrition educators, and the food industry to help consumers build healthier diets with resources and tools for dietary assessment, nutrition education, and other user-friendly nutrition information. The online resources and tools can empower people to make healthier food choices for themselves, their families, and their children.
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans focus on balancing calories with physical activity, and encourage Americans to consume more healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood, and to consume less sodium, saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and refined grains.
Below are some of the tips that help consumers translate the Dietary Guidelines into their everyday lives:
- Enjoy your food, but eat less.
- Avoid oversized portions.
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
- Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
- Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals – and choose the foods with lower numbers.
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
The USDA's MyPlate site also offers a variety of interactive tools that make it easy for individuals to get a personalized recommendation for their daily calorie level by entering their age, gender and physical activity level. Super Tracker helps users better understand their energy balance status by keeping track of their dietary and physical activity, and more, including audio and video tips.