The Healthy Eating Plate was created by experts at Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School. Its main purpose is to point to the healthiest combination of food groups in MyPlate. Here is a more detailed comparison of how you can use both in your own benefit. (see previous article)
Healthy Eating Plate consists of scientific facts which show the healthiest food with intake limits and recommendations. It encourages specific groceries and fulfills the problems which were not described by MyPlate. (Some facts were not described precisely, while other facts were not covered.) If you want to eat the healthiest possible, Healthy Eating Plate is probably the best recommendation you will find.
An important update from Healthy Eating Plate says at least one-half of grains should be whole grains. So you should take more whole grains and limit refined grains since it is a lot better for health. If someone takes too many refined-grain foods, it will be harder to control weight and it can raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Table 1. Whole grains and refined grains
|Whole grains||Whole-wheat flour, bulgur, oatmeal, whole cornmeal, brown rice…|
|Refined grains||White flour, white bread, white rice…|
There is healthy protein and regular protein. People should eat more fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, tuna, trout…), poultry, beans or nuts – protein sources that contain other healthful nutrients. On the other side, red meat and processed meat should be avoided. If you eat red meat and processed meat, you will increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer and weight gain. White meat, according to Healthy Eating Plate, is healthier. In MyPlate, a protein section could be filled with hamburger or hotdog. Here, the only encouragement is to take at least 8 ounces of cooked seafood per week, and the advantage is given to sushi or fresh oysters.
Table 2. Healthy proteins and regular proteins
|Healthy proteins||Fish, poultry, beans, nuts, seafood, sushi, oysters, shellfish, white meat…|
|Regular proteins||Hamburger, hot dog, red meat, processed meat (especially fried)…|
When it comes to vegetables, Healthy Eating Plate encourages the intake of all types of vegetables. The correct choice would be vegetables of all colors. Healthy Eating Plate limits the intake of potatoes, while MyPlate doesn’t make the difference between potatoes and other vegetables. Potatoes have high glycemic index values, and have the same effect on blood sugar levels just as refined grains and sweets.
Here is the list of vegetables and fruits whose intake you should pay attention to.
Table 3. Fruits and vegetables
|Fruits||Watermelons, dates, dried figs, canned apricots, cantaloupe, pineapple|
|Vegetables||Fresh corn, beets, canned kidney beans, potatoes, pumpkins, parsnips|
When it comes to fruits, this model gives more advantage to colored fruits and citrus fruits. The healthiest fruit is avocado. Healthy Eating Plate encourages ten percent of fruits in nutrition, just as MyPlate. One should also limit fresh squeezed fruit or vegetable juice to one glass per day, even if it is 100% juice. Because juice has as many calories as sugary soda.
There is a significant difference when it comes to the intake of healthy oils. While MyPlate doesn’t mention healthy oils, Healthy Eating Plate focuses a lot on this part and encourages people to eat olive, canola and other plant oils. It should be present in cooking, on salads, and at the table. Healthy oils are excellent to reduce the level of cholesterol and improve your heart. However, one should avoid butter and saturated fats, just as refined sugars. It also encourages the intake of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, while it limits the intake of saturated fats.
Table 4. Polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated fats
|Polyunsaturated fats||Walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds or flax oil, corn oil, soybean oil|
|Monounsaturated fats||Olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, sesame oil|
|Saturated fats||Butter, animal fats, sweets, cakes, sugar, cheese, creams, sardine and fish oil, processed meat (bacon, salami, sausage…)…|
According to MyPlate, there were no limits for fat intake, which could lead to low-fat and high-carbohydrate diet. It can make your weight harder to control and increase the level of blood cholesterol.
The Healthy Eating Plate says water is calorie free and it one should take it at any time. Other calorie-free alternatives are coffee and tea. On the other side, people are encouraged to avoid sugary drinks since it leads to increasing the risk of obesity and diabetes. MyPlate counts 100% fruit juice as part of the Fruit Group, Healthy Eating Plate counts it as drinks.
Table 5. Water and dairy products
|Unlimited||Water, tea (no sugar)|
|Limited||Coffee, milk, yogurt, fruit yogurt, kefir, whey…|
|Avoid||Sugary drinks, carbonated drinks (Coca-cola, Fanta, energy drinks…)|
One should limit milk and dairy products to two servings per day, despite its protection against osteoporosis. High intakes of dairy products can increase the risk of prostate and ovarian cancer. Too high intakes of dairy products can be dangerous for health.
Staying active – this is the most important part of Healthy Eating Plate! It is crucial to stay active if you want to control your weight easier. That’s why physical activities are encouraged heavily, and the recommendation is at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity workout during every week.