Ensuring that your body gets all the nutrients it needs can be tricky! You might be asking yourself, “how much of each food group do I need, what foods are the healthiest, or what should I eat if I’m trying to lose weight?” One of the easiest ways to support eating a healthy and balanced diet is to image your plate sectioned into three food groups. And I have created a quick and helpful infographic titled The Healthy Plate that does just this. But don’t worry, it isn’t the USDA’s MyPlate or food guide pyramid. Perhaps well intended, there are too many politics and not enough of the latest research involved in the formation of the USDA’s nutrition recommendations (in my humble opinion).
How is The Healthy Plate Different?
I based The Healthy Plate on current research that has shown certain food groups such as dairy and grains are not essential as part of a healthy diet. I’m not saying there aren’t valuable nutrients in dairy and grain foods (you’ll see they fall under the “carbohydrate” umbrella), but rather the nutrients they provide can be obtained from other food sources. I also put more emphasis on whole foods like healthy fats that reduce inflammation and support your body to achieve its healthiest weight.
A few things to note that usually surprise people in the The Healthy Plate:
- Starchy Vegetables such corn, peas, potatoes, and butternut and acorn squash all count as a carbohydrate. They are all healthy foods, but they are foods you want to monitor, especially if you are trying to lose weight (they have more carbohydrates and thus calories than non-starchy vegetables).
- You’ll notice that some foods fit into multiple food groups. If you are trying to lose weight and feel confused about how to count foods that fall into the carbohydrate and another food group, my recommendation is to always count that food as a carb. Eating more protein will not hamper your weight loss goals like too many carbs can (the reason being insulin’s response, but that’s another post ;)).
- Don’t overlook healthy fats in the corner ramekin! Eating healthy fats and protein with every meal and snack is a great way to stay full longer, prevent cravings, balance your blood sugar, and keep your energy levels up throughout the day.
To balanced and mindful eating! Chris