The USDA took a monumental step today when they revealed their new food pyramid, which actually isn’t a pyramid at all. Apparently this is the first step of a much larger movement in food education.

The new MyPlate visual makes it easier to see how much of each food group you should eat per meal, rather than the vague daily recommendations MyPyramid gave.

Recommendations have also been updated, and are based on the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines (which was released January 2011).

The website itself is very similar to and the information is basically the same, but more concise and possibly with slight modifications in serving recommendations (mine were the same for an 1800 calorie diet).

While it can get kind of confusing with all the links, I think it’s a great place to start if you want to get info on how to improve your diet. It also has great tools for finding a personalized plan or looking up the nutritional content of a food.

One thing to note is possible influence from lobbyists. If you compare Canada’s Food Guide with ours, the only difference that jumps out at me is the daily amount of dairy. The USDA recommends 3 servings of milk while Canada only recommend 2 servings of milk or alternatives for a 20 year old female. If this is all based on pure science, then why the difference? While the difference won’t kill us, it’s interesting to see the dairy industry’s influence on us.

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