Ask the Experts: My Plate

Intermountain Healthcare - My Plate

(KUTV) Salt Lake City - My Plate replaced the food pyramid years ago, but surprisingly many people don't know what it is or how simple it is to use. Marysa Cardwell, a registered dietitian from Intermountain’s LDS Hospital, joined Kari Hawker-Diaz in the Fresh Living kitchen to explain how My Plate works.

With the new year, more people are likely making a resolution to eat healthier. But they may not know that eating healthy means eating the right amounts of the right foods.

The My Plate method is a great way to visualize a properly proportioned plate. MyPlate is a reminder to find your healthy eating style and build it throughout your lifetime. Everything you eat and drink matters. The right mix can help you be healthier now and in the future. This means:

  • Focus on variety, amount, and nutrition.
  • Choose foods and beverages with less saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars.
  • Start with small changes to build healthier eating styles.
  • Support healthy eating for everyone.

Eating healthy is a journey shaped by many factors, including our stage of life, situations, preferences, access to food, culture, traditions, and the personal decisions we make over time. All your food and beverage choices count. MyPlate offers ideas and tips to help you create a healthier eating style that meets your individual needs and improves your health.

Most of us who are 19 years or older should be eating between 2 ½ to 3 cups of vegetables per day. And weekly, we should be aiming for 1 ½ -2 cups of dark green vegetables, 5 ½ -6 cups of red or orange vegetables, ½ -2 cups beans or peas, 5-6 cups starchy vegetables, and 4-5 cups other vegetables. Try to keep your produce vibrant and colorful. Buy fresh and local when possible. Eat half a cup less of the above totals if you are a female 51 years or older. Also, if you are female and have a smaller build, aim for the lower end of all of the ranges above. If you are a large male, aim for the higher end of the ranges.

Enjoy fruit as your sweet treats. Aim for half a cup to 2 cups of fruit per day. Though all fruit is great, if you can eat fruits that are lower in sugar content, you are getting the health benefits of the fruit without the insulin spike from all the sugar.

Make more of your grains whole. You can eat between 5-8 ounce equivalents of grains per day. An ounce equivalent is going to be a slice of bread, one cup cereal, or half a cup rice, pasta, or cooked cereal.

Choose lean sources of protein. You should aim for 5-6 ounces of protein per day. That can be an ounce of meat, ¼ cup of cooked beans, one egg, one tablespoon of peanut butter, or half an ounce of nuts or seeds.

Intermountain Healthcare has their experts at the KUTV Studios. Join us on Tuesday, January 9th to answer your questions concerning Weight Management. Call 877-908-0680 between Noon and 5:30 pm to "Ask the Expert".