The New Food Pyramid

by Gabriella Patel on October 10, 2012

Do you remember as a child learning about the healthy food pyramid? It stated at the bottom with photos of all sorts of grains, next came fruits and vegetables, then proteins and meats and then at the very top was a small space for fats and oils. I don’t know why but I always remembered that small section at the top – mostly I think cause that represented the food I most wanted to eat as a kid – sugar.

The US Department of Agriculture released the first food pyramid guide in 1992 after many years of encouragement to eat healthy. The original purpose was to help make it easier for people to learn how to eat healthy foods and the amounts they should eat every day. Since its arrival in the early 90’s, the pyramid has gone through a few makeovers. The purpose of the original pyramid and the modern version is to help encourage people to follow a healthy balanced diet, but the foods and proportions have drastically changed since the food pyramid guide was first released twenty years ago.

The new food pyramid is actually not a pyramid at all, but a plate. In contrast to the original pyramid it is encouraging a more balanced diet with vegetables, fruits and grains as the center of your diet. Contrast that with the original pyramid that encouraged people to eat 6 to 11 servings of grains every day. Grains are still an important part of a healthy diet, but the servings are portions are much less in this new version of the food pyramid. This new guide also makes whole grains the focus when getting your daily serving of grains, rather than any type of grain.

Another purpose of the new plate symbol versus the pyramid is to help with portion control. If people filled their plates exactly like the food plate illustration, half of their plate would be fruits and vegetables and the other side would be correct portions of grains and proteins, thus helping people avoid large portions. Instead of filling up their plate with unhealthy items, the image guides people on how much to eat of each variety of food, creating a healthy, balanced meal.

In the past, the food pyramid educational materials only focused on diet alone. Now the new guide not only places emphasis on food, but also on daily physical activity – encouraging adults and children to get at least 30 minutes of activity every day. This has become just as important as eating a healthy diet because a sedentary lifestyle is becoming easier and easier as technology advances. It is important to encourage your children and family to participate in at least 30 minutes of physical activity everyday. It doesn’t have to feel like exercise – you can play a game of soccer or football in your backyard, or go on a bike ride as family. This will not only keep you and you family healthy, but will help them develop an active lifestyle that will stick with them, long after they leave your house.

A food guide is a great tool to use and follow, especially when educating children on how to stay healthy. Obesity rates, especially in children continue to be on a fast climb – causing children to have serious health problems much earlier in life. It is important that children learn which foods are the best for them and will provide them with the nutrients their body needs to perform properly. This new plate icon is a great visual for children and adults to follow and can be easily implemented into everyday living.




Gabriella Patel

Gabriella Patel

Health Contributor at Creative Bioscience
I grew up in a family who has a long history in natural supplements. I've always found such a greater level of health and well being because of the choices I've made to seek natural and organic products. I've taken a lot of my knowledge now to be able to help others make the right decisions to achieve a higher level of wellness. From what I've seen most of where the problems come from is what we put in our bodies, and what we're not. I hope to shed some light on many issues we all face. Subscribe to my work Gabriella's favorite product is Detox Diet 1234
Gabriella Patel

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