We know that Balance is an important tenet in the Pilates Method. Balance is something we should strive for in our workouts where we burn calories; but it is also essential to find that balance in our calorie intake. I personally have had to alter eating habits due to some food sensitivities. But, when I heard MyPlate replaced the Food Pyramid I thought that, in general, it was a favorable “revamp” for the general public. I wanted to learn more, so I asked Elizabeth Prebish, RD, LDN to share her opinion about MyPlate. Here are some things to consider and what she uncovered in regards to that program:
USDA MyPlate vs Harvard Healthy Eating Plate
With the USDA’s recent switch to the MyPlate, the suggested grain intake is greatly reduced in comparison to their previous Food Pyramid. But can we trust this new model? The scientific evidence may favor another food model, the Harvard Healthy Plate.
Unfortunately, like the earlier USDA Food Pyramids, MyPlate mixes science with the influence of powerful agricultural interests. This is not the recipe for healthy eating!
The Healthy Eating Plate is based on the best available scientific evidence and profoundly affects our health and well-being. While the infographic portions appear similar, here are some points of note about MyPlate:
- MyPlate does not explain that whole grains are better for health than refined grains
- The protein section offers no indication that some high-protein foods such as fish, beans, poultry and nuts are healthier than red meats and processed meats
- It’s silent on beneficial fats
- It does not distinguish between potatoes and other vegetables
- MyPlate recommends dairy at every meal even though there is little evidence that high dairy intake protects against osteoporosis; rather there is substantial evidence that high intake can be harmful
- It does not include information about sugary drinks
- Finally, the Healthy Eating Plate reminds people to stay active, an important factor in weight control, while MyPlate does not mention the importance of activity.
Both models were created to help build the foundation to a healthy eating plan. While comparing their components, you will notice they both consist of half of the plate fruits and vegetables – this is a great place to start! Small, deliberate, gradual change works. Once you’ve mastered the first set of changes, move to another component of the Healthy Eating Plate in which you could improve. You are off to a great start!
Elizabeth Prebish, RD, LDN is the Director of Health Promotion and Clinical Integration, at LifeStart Wellness. Elizabeth holds a Bachelors of Science from Indiana University in Dietetics and Psychology. Elizabeth’s real passion is in prevention and healing through nutrition.