Whether you’re eating off your grandmother’s china, a mismatched set of colorful Fiesta ware, or a checkered table cloth at a neighborhood barbecue, healthy eating habits begin on your plate.
The USDA MyPlate website is a useful tool for improving your diet. The site provides tips and resources to help you fill your plate mindfully and healthfully, with inspiring ideas to help you choose nutrient-dense foods, like avocados.
Check out the site’s features to make sure you hit a dietary home run the next time you step up to your plate.
The USDA MyPlate site models how to portion key food groups across your plate during breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Follow these recommendations to bring your best plate to the table:
The USDA MyPlate site recommends filling half of your plate with fresh fruits and vegetables, like avocados. Focus on choosing fresh, sautéed, roasted, or steamed vegetables and whole fruits — these are among the healthiest ways to prepare these colorful ingredients.
Try this: Adding 1/3 of a medium-size avocado to an omelet, salad, or sandwich can help add good fats, fiber, and a serving of whole fruit to your meal.
The remaining half of your plate should be split across grains, proteins, and dairy.
Grains include foods made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain. Choose whole grains, which are less processed, over refined grains.MyPlate recommends making half of your grains whole grains, like oatmeal or brown rice.
Try this: Spread 50g of creamy avocado on a slice of whole-grain toast. Here’s our favorite avocado toast recipe.
MyPlate recommends varying the source of protein within each meal to help maximize your nutrient intake. Choose lean or low-fat proteins when possible and include at least 8 oz of cooked seafood in your weekly protein intake. Vegetarians can hit their protein quota with options like beans and peas, soy products, and nuts and seeds.
Try this: This Mexican Ceviche recipe offers ample protein and the fresh taste of avocados.
Dairy can serve as an additional source of protein and calcium. The USDA recommends taking in three cups of dairy daily and choosing low-fat or fat-free milks and yogurts.
Try this: Substitute fat-free Greek yogurt in this parfait recipe for two cups of dairy.
MyPlate Plan will help you create a personalized daily eating plan based on your age, sex, height, weight, and physical activity.The plan helps you track calories and intake for each food group and offers recipes, cookbooks, and sample meal plans to help set you up for success.
Before making any changes to your diet, talk to your doctor about how you can begin forming healthy eating habits. He or she may provide a list of healthy foods, like avocados, that fit in with USDA MyPlate’s recommendations.