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Harvard’s Healthy Eating Plate vs U.S. Government’s My Plate: Which Should You Follow?

For the last several decades the U.S. Government has been trying to find a visual means of telling people how to eat. After going through several pyramids, they’ve finally settled on a plate with sections and a smaller side dish, representing a glass of dairy. In rebuttal, Harvard University offered up its own food plate. Take a look at the differences, as explained by

At first glance, the plates appear to be pretty similar, with sections of a plate devoted to vegetables, grains, fruits. and proteins. The biggest difference between the U.S. Government’s My Plate and Harvard School of Public Health’s vision of what a healthy diet looks like is the dairy. The dairy industry spends billions of dollars a year convincing the government that people should be drinking milk and it shows. According to Harvard, their vision of the perfect plate was conceived, “The Healthy Eating Plate is based exclusively on the best available science and was not subjected to political and commercial pressures from food industry lobbyists.”

Upon closer inspection, you can see further differences between plates. Harvard’s Healthy Eating Plate not only contains no dairy, but also offers specific advice on what kinds of foods to choose and what kinds of foods to limit within each section, like eating whole grains and limiting refined grains. By contrast, the government’s My Plate has a separate area for dairy and doesn’t make mention about which kinds of choose to within each category. For example, all fats are equal in the government version, as are grains and proteins. But the Harvard plate stresses choosing healthy fats and lean proteins.

In addition to encouraging people to eat certain foods and make wise decisions, The Healthy Eating Plate from Harvard also goes a step further in reminding people to exercise and engage in physical activity. It seems like the government may have some further edits to make in its dietary recommendations.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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