Food pyramid turns into food plate

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Story Updated: May 31, 2011

LIVING HEALTHY (WKTV) - The way you eat, or at least the way you think about food, is about to change.

Federal Health Officials are taking the well known "food pyramid" and replacing it with an entirely new look. The food pyramid is about to turn into a "food plate."

The new look is going to be unveiled on Thursday, June 2. The original food pyramid was introduced almost ten years ago, and saw an update in 2005. However, federal health officials say the current food pyramid is a little hard to follow, so the illustration is moving from depicting a concept to being a visual of what food should take up space on your plate.

Nutrition educator with WIC and Eat Smart New York Melanie Adams has been using a plate concept for several years now. She says it also teaches portion control, which is a key to healthy eating.

"With our plates, half the plate is fruits and vegetables, a fourth of the plate is whole grains, and a fourth of the plate is a meat and you can add in a dairy. So that's that we work with," Adams said. "When we talk about portion sizes, we use the plate, and I'm hoping this is a positive way to help people get healthier."

"I'm thinking they are switching over because the idea is a lot of fruits and vegetables to be eating everyday," Adams continued. "People should consume that instead of donuts, cookies, and sweets. I'm thinking to make that focus by having a plate, there is a visual you can use. It is is a cue to how much you're supposed to eat too."

New dietary guidelines for Americans were released this January, so the food pyramid to food plate concept should reflect those changes that call for more fruits and vegetables. There will also be a second smaller plate in the illustration for dairy, but there is no allotted space for fats and sweets.

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