Food Guide Pyramid was Replaced with a Plate

Yesterday, the USDA released a new icon to replace the old food guide pyramid.  The pyramid has now been switched to the image of a plate with the various food groups on it (see below).  This gives visual representation of how to fill up a plate to create balance among the various food groups.  I think that it is much more straight-forward than the old pyramid and a welcome change.  In addition to changing the visual image, they did also make some updates to the website to provide some simple tips for good nutrition.  The key points include:

  • Balance calories
    • Enjoy your food, but eat less
    • Avoid oversized portions
  • Foods to Increase
    • Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables
    • Switch to low-fat dairy (Skim or 1%)
    • Make half of your grains “whole” grains
  • Foods to reduce
    • Sodium (read labels and choose lower-sodium options)
    • Sugary Beverages

These are not new messages, but they are now emphasized more on the website.  As there was in the past, the website has some valuable information about the healthiest choices within each food group and serving sizes.  You can check out the updated website at

The New Plate Icon