Most of the information gathered for this article came from ChooseMyPlate.gov
Some of the 2010 changes include:
- Enjoy your food but eat less
- Avoid oversized proportions
Foods To Increase
- Make half your plates fruits and vegetables
- Make at least half your grains whole grains
- Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk
Foods To Reduce
- Compare sodium levels in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks
Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley or another cereal grain is a grain product. Bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and grits are examples of grain products.
Whole Grains –
Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel ― the bran, germ, and endosperm.
Refined Grains –
Refined grains have been milled, a process that removes the bran and germ. This is done to give grains a finer texture and improve their shelf life, but it also removes dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins. Most refined grains are enriched. This means certain B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid) and iron are added back after processing. Fiber is not added back to enriched grains. Check the ingredient list on refined grain products to make sure that the word “enriched” is included in the grain name. Some food products are made from mixtures of whole grains and refined grains.
Don’t be fooled by the”wheat” breads that do not say 100% whole grains somewhere on the package. Caramel coloring is added to the bread to give it the wheat coloring. They are technically allowed to call it “wheat bread” because…even white bread is wheat.
Any vegetable or 100% vegetable juice counts as a member of the Vegetable Group. Vegetables may be raw or cooked; fresh, frozen, canned, or dried/dehydrated; and may be whole, cut-up, or mashed.
Dark Green Vegetables
Dark green leafy vegetables provide many essential vitamins and minerals your body needs, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium. In addition, they are also a wonderful way to get the fiber your body needs. The darker the leaves, the more nutrients the vegetable usually has.
dark green leafy lettuce
Starchy vegetables are healthy, but they are higher in carbohydrate than other vegetables and they have more calories.
fresh cowpeas, field peas, or black-eyed peas (not dry)
green lima beans
Red and Orange Vegetables
Red– Contains nutrients like lycopene, ellagic acid, Quercetin, and Hesperidin. These nutrients reduce the risk of prostate cancer, lower blood pressure, reduce tumor growth and LDL cholesterol levels, scavenge harmful free-radicals, and support join tissue in arthritis cases.
Orange (and Yellow)– Contain beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, and vitamin C. These nutrients reduce age-related macula degeneration and the risk of prostate cancer, lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, promote collagen formation and healthy joints, fight harmful free radicals, encourage alkaline balance, and work with magnesium and calcium to build healthy bones.
Beans and Peas
Legumes which are high in protein value, although their proteins are not regarded as having sufficient amounts of the amino acids required by the human body, and should, therefore, not be used as the sole source of protein foods. They are of high caloric value and they make some contributions to the mineral and vitamin content of the dietary. Peas are relatively high in vitamin A content, which is associated with many physiological functions, notably growth and dark adaptation. Both beans and peas, particularly soy beans, are good sources of vitamin B1, which is the anti-neuritic vitamin enjoying such wide attention at the present time.
black-eyed peas (mature, dry)
garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
Here is a link for the nutritional value of specific vegetables.
Here is a link for the nutritonal value of specific fruits.
All fluid milk products and many foods made from milk are considered part of this food group. Most Dairy Group choices should be fat-free or low-fat. Foods made from milk that retain their calcium content are part of the group. Foods made from milk that have little to no calcium, such as cream cheese, cream, and butter, are not. Calcium-fortified soymilk (soy beverage) is also part of the Dairy Group.
Choose fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese. If you choose milk or yogurt that is not fat-free, or cheese that is not low-fat, the fat in the product counts against your maximum limit for “empty calories” (calories from solid fats and added sugars).
If sweetened milk products are chosen (flavored milk, yogurt, drinkable yogurt, desserts), the added sugars also count against your maximum limit for “empty calories” (calories from solid fats and added sugars).
For those who are lactose intolerant, smaller portions (such as 4 fluid ounces of milk) may be well tolerated. Lactose-free and lower-lactose products are available. These include lactose-reduced or lactose-free milk, yogurt, and cheese, and calcium-fortified soymilk (soy beverage). Also, enzyme preparations can be added to milk to lower the lactose content. Calcium-fortified foods and beverages such as cereals, orange juice, rice milk, or almond milk may provide calcium, but may not provide the other nutrients found in dairy products.
All foods made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts, and seeds are considered part of the Protein Foods Group. Beans and peas are also part of the Vegetable Group. Select a variety of protein foods to improve nutrient intake and health benefits, including at least 8 ounces of cooked seafood per week. Young children need less, depending on their age and calories needs. The advice to consume seafood does not apply to vegetarians. Vegetarian options in the Protein Foods Group include beans and peas, processed soy products, and nuts and seeds. Meat and poultry choices should be lean or low-fat.
Choose lean or low-fat meat and poultry. If higher fat choices are made, such as regular ground beef (75 to 80% lean) or chicken with skin, the fat counts against your maximum limit for empty calories (calories from solid fats or added sugars).
If solid fat is added in cooking, such as frying chicken in shortening or frying eggs in butter or stick margarine, this also counts against your maximum limit for empty calories (calories from solid fats and added sugars).
Select some seafood that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, trout, sardines, anchovies, herring, Pacific oysters, and Atlantic and Pacific mackerel.
Processed meats such as ham, sausage, frankfurters, and luncheon or deli meats have added sodium. Check the Nutrition Facts label to help limit sodium intake. Fresh chicken, turkey, and pork that have been enhanced with a salt-containing solution also have added sodium. Check the product label for statements such as “self-basting” or “contains up to __% of __”, which mean that a sodium-containing solution has been added to the product.
Choose unsalted nuts and seeds to keep sodium intake low.