Catawba County News

Food pyramid is out; MyPlate is in

Food pyramid is out; MyPlate is in

April 30, 2018

With many thousands of products filling our grocery store shelves, it can be hard to decide what to buy and eat. Fortunately, making choices becomes a little easier when we look at nutrition as a whole.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has three guidelines that almost anyone can follow to make sure they are eating more nutritious foods:

  • Emphasize fruit, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat or fat-free milk and milk products.
  • Include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts.
  • Make sure your diet is low in saturated fats, trans fats, salt (sodium) and added sugars.

Many of us remember seeing the old food pyramid, but getting the right nutrition looks a little different today with the switch to the MyPlate graphic. The idea behind My Plate is to show what a balanced meal actually looks like. There is less emphasis on grains, and half the plate is taken up by vegetables and fruits. The number of servings for each category is gone. Instead, the visual divisions on the plate are a guide.

Once you’re familiar with the recommendations, it’s time to start eating with nutrition in mind. Start with a daily nutritional checklist: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/MyPlate-Daily-Checklist.

Are you ready to start eating using the MyPlate recommendations? It’s a perfect time of year to begin, with farmers markets across the county beginning to open for the season. Catawba County Public Health’s Farmers Market is set to open on June 7, as local farmers’ crops begin to ripen.

For mothers and families, there are additional nutritional resources. Some Catawba County residents are eligible to receive benefits through the Women, Infant and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program (WIC). It’s funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for infants and children up to age five, as well as pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women. WIC helps ensure that families have access to foods that are rich in protein, iron, calcium, and vitamins A and C. To help families plan healthy meals, the program also offers nutritional counseling. For more information about WIC, log on to http://www.catawbacountync.gov/phealth/Child/WIC.asp or call 828-695-5800. Catawba County Public Health is an equal opportunity provider and offers services is a welcoming and confidential atmosphere.

Catawba County Public Health promotes and protects the health of all Catawba County residents through preventive services, innovative partnerships, and community health improvement initiatives. For more information, please call (828) 695-5800 or visit www.catawbacountync.gov/phealth.

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