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Build a Better Plate

Balance is a term often brought up with health. It is well-known that eating a balanced diet is healthy. But what does that even mean? For decades, balance was shown by use of the food pyramid which had different levels with all the different food groups the bottom being what group should make up the most of your diet. While, the food pyramid was familiar, it did not display what a serving of each food group looks like in a meal.

In 2011, the USDA launched a new campaign that swapped the familiar food pyramid with a plate. The plate shows what a serving of all the food groups would look like at mealtime, making it easier to visualize. MyPlate shows filling one half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. The larger portion of the other half should be grains, such as rice, bread or pasta. And what is left should contain protein with a side of dairy added to the plate. Choosemyplate.gov believes that MyPlate allows people to better control what they put on their plate as well as acquaint them with a variety of foods that help them reach optimal health.

Building a plate like this can be hard in college, especially if you are eating in the caf frequently. While most stations do contain protein, grain, and vegetables, this often is not enough. Making a salad at the salad bar is a great way to get in your daily dose of vegetables. Next time you’re in the caf, try to build your plate to look like MyPlate.

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Hailey Kenyon

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