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Food guide plate

MyPlate

By following the US Department of Agriculture's food guide, called MyPlate, you can make healthier food choices. The newest guide encourages you to eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy. Using the guide, you can learn what type of food you should eat and how much you should eat. You also learn why and how much you should exercise.

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myPlate

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USING MyPlate

There are 5 major food groups that make up a healthy diet:

You should eat foods from each group every day. How much food you should eat from each group depends on your age, sex, and how active you are.

MyPlate makes specific recommendations for each type of food group.

GRAINS: MAKE AT LEAST HALF OF YOUR GRAINS WHOLE GRAINS

Most children and adults should eat about 5 to 8 servings of grains a day (also called "ounce equivalents"). Children age 8 and younger need about 3 to 5 servings. At least half those servings should be whole grain. An example of one serving of grains includes:

Eating whole grains can help improve your health by:

Ways to eat more whole grains:

VEGETABLES: MAKE HALF OF YOUR PLATE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

Most children and adults should eat between 2 and 3 cups (200 to 300 grams) of vegetables a day. Children age 8 need about 1 to 1 1/2 cups (100 to 150 grams). Examples of a cup include:

Eating vegetables can help improve your health in the following ways:

Ways to eat more vegetables:

FRUITS: MAKE HALF OF YOUR PLATE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

Most adults need 1 1/2 to 2 cups (200 to 250 grams) of fruit a day. Children age 8 and younger need about 1 to 1 1/2 cups (120 to 200 grams). Examples of a cup include:

Eating fruit can help improve your health, they may help to:

Ways to eat more fruit:

PROTEIN FOODS: CHOOSE LEAN PROTEINS

Protein foods include meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts and nut butters, and seeds. Beans and peas are also part of the vegetable group.

Examples of a serving include:

Eating lean protein can help improve your health:

Ways to include more lean protein in your diet:

DAIRY: CHOOSE LOW-FAT OR FAT-FREE DAIRY FOODS

Most children and adults should get about 3 cups (720 milliliters) of dairy a day. Children age 2 to 8 need about 2 to 2 1/2 cups (480 to 600 milliliters). Examples of a cup include:

Eating dairy food can improve your health:

Ways to include low-fat foods from the dairy group in your diet:

OILS: EAT SMALL AMOUNTS OF HEART-HEALTHY OILS

WEIGHT MANAGEMENT AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

MyPlate also provides information about how to lose excess weight:

You can also learn how to make better choices, such as:

References

US Department of Health and Human Services and US Department of Agriculture. 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th edition. health.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09/2015-2020_Dietary_Guidelines.pdf. Updated December 2015. Accessed October 7, 2019.

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Review Date: 7/3/2019  

Reviewed By: Emily Wax, RD, CDN, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. Editorial update 09/30/2020.

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