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Food Pyramid and Food Plate


FoodPyramid and Food Plate

The Food Guide Pyramid was formed in 1992 to convey elements of ahealthy diet (Apfelbaum, 2011). The icon was based on unsubstantiatedscientific evidence and was rarely updated. However, the U.S.Department of Agriculture adopted MyPlate in 2011 (Vastag, 2011). Thefood plate has replaced the pyramid since the former ensuressimplicity and also classifies different nutrients.

Firstly, the food pyramid bases the entire diet on cereals andgrains. Notably, many carbohydrates have been processed and refined.Hence, fats and cereals contain high amounts of sugar, starch, andgluten (Apfelbaum, 2011). Furthermore, grains contain mycotoxinswhich increase the likelihood of developing diabetes. The foodpyramid does not provide sufficient fat or protein to maintain bodystructures and muscles. Therefore, most vitamins cannot beassimilated into the body without fat. Moreover, the food pyramidfails to distinguish between harmful carbohydrates such as whitebread and beneficial carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes.

The food pyramid does not classify the different types of proteins.Meats such as sausages and salami are unhealthy since they undergoextensive processing. On the other hand, oily fish and eggscontribute to excellent mental and physical health (Vastag, 2011).The food pyramid places a higher value on fruits than vegetables.Nevertheless, the latter have more antioxidants and vitamins. Ratherthan have equal servings of both foods, it is better to consumer morevegetables than fruits. In fact, high intake of sugar had thepotential to cause diabetes.

Besides, the food pyramid did not show the difference between oilsand fats. In this regard, essential oils from seeds, nuts, olives,avocadoes, and fish are needed for optimal mental and physicalhealth. Since the body could not manufacture these substances, aperson had to modify his nutritional habits. On the other hand,hydrogenated fats in margarine were quite harmful to the body. Oilsin cream and cheese also had mild harmful effects (Khan, 2011).Additionally, the food pyramid failed to mention the importance ofperforming daily exercises and managing a person’s weight.

The food plate is preferred to the pyramid due to various factors.For instance, the former places less emphasis on grains. Although thepyramid portrayed cereals as the most significant portion, the foodplate assigns one quadrant to whole grains. Vegetables and fruitsalso bear greater significance than other food groups (Neuman, 2011).Consequently, consumers would benefit from many servings of freshproduce. The food plate is also beneficial since it gives lessprominence to fats and sugars. Nevertheless, it highlights thedifferences between saturated, monosaturated, polysaturated, andtrans fats.

The food plate is better than the pyramid since it is easier tounderstand and implement. The latter specified the number of servingsthat had to be consumed each day. People had to adhere to suchrecommendations. The food pyramid also mentioned the particular sizeof a serving. On the other hand, the plate does not describe thequantity of particular foods. Hence, consumers can use normal-sizedbowls to ensure proper management of weight (Mitka, 2011).Notwithstanding, the food plate allows people to acquireindividualized plans based on their personal data. Consequently,consumers can obtain specific quantities of food for adults, teens,and children.

Furthermore, the food plate recognizes the significance of dietarynutrients. Admittedly, proteins were contained in foods such asvegetables, milk, and grains. Plant-based nutrients are alsoessential for proper physical and mental health (United StatesDepartment of Agriculture, 2016). Nevertheless, many peopleclassified legumes, nuts, beans, and meat as protein. In this manner,the food plate focuses on simplicity. Consumers can easily understandand remember the items stipulated on the plate.

Indeed, the food plate is preferred to the pyramid since itclassifies nutrients and can be understood easily. Notably, thelatter made no distinctions between different fats, oils, proteins,and carbohydrates. Hence, consumers could not distinguish betweenmonosaturated, polysaturated, and trans fats. The pyramid also failedto show the importance of daily exercise. On the other hand, the foodplate placed less emphasis on grains, fats, and oils. Consequently,many consumers have embraced the food plate.


Apfelbaum, S. (2011, June 2). USDA Serves Nutrition Guidelines on aPlate. The American Institute of Graphic Arts. Retrieved fromhttp://www.aiga.org/usda-serves-nutrition-guidelines-on-a-plate

Khan, A. (2011, June 1). USDA to Reshape How We See DietaryNutrition. LA Times. Retrieved fromhttp://articles.latimes.com/2011/jun/01/health/la-he-food-pyramid-20110602

Mitka, M. (2011, June 2). New Nutritional Icon Steps Up to the Plate.The Journal of the American Medical Association. Retrievedfromhttps://newsatjama.jama.com/2011/06/02/new-nutritional-icon-steps-up-to-the-plate/

Neuman, W. (2011, June 2). Nutrition plate unveiled, replacing foodpyramid. New York Times. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/03/business/03plate.html

United States Department of Agriculture. (2016, November 22). USDA`sMyPlate. Retrieved from https://www.choosemyplate.gov/

Vastag, B. (2011, June 2). At USDA, a Plate Usurps the Food Pyramid.Washington Post. Retrieved fromhttps://www.washingtonpost.com/national/at-usda-a-plate-usurps-the-food-pyramid/2011/06/01/AGhBOGHH_story.html