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Goodbye Pyramid, Hello ... Plate?

USDA introduces new nutrition guide graphic

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Forget food pyramids and weird rainbow-mids, the United States Department of Agriculture recently tossed those hierarchical food-guideline graphics in favor of a 2D dinner plate. MyPlate features four colored quadrants of varying sizes--fruits, veggies, protein and grains--and looks suspiciously like the '80s memory game Simon. The illustration also includes a small circular glass for dairy products.

In a nod to foodie saint Michael Pollan, who recommends we "eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants," the new USDA food guidelines also urge folks to: Enjoy your food, but eat less; avoid oversized portions; and make half your plate fruits and vegetables.

Unlike the previous food-guide pyramid, which tried to streamline food consumption into general serving sizes (three to five servings of vegetables, six to 11 servings of grains), choosemyplate.org outlines how many servings a person should consume based on factors like age, gender, weight and amount of daily exercise.

Some other notable inclusions on MyPlate include a section that outlines limiting empty calories--which include solid fats like butter and beef fat, and added sugars like soda or fruit-flavored juices--and a recommendation to eat 8 ounces of seafood per week.

For more info on MyPlate, or to play around with interactive diet tools like the daily food plan or the food tracker, visit choosemyplate.org.