Here's the USDA's new food guidelines, in an appropriate graphical form: the plate chart. (A pie chart would have too much refined sugar.) It lacks the mystical and ancient appeal of the food pyramid, but is perhaps more relevant to your daily food-eating life. (But is it kosher or something? Why is the dairy on a separate dish?) [Update: It's a glass of milk! I JUST got that.]

The take-home messages are:

  • Avoid oversized portions.
  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
  • Make at least half your grains whole grains.
  • Switch to fat-free or 1 percent milk.
  • Go for lower-sodium options.
  • Drink water.

Hard to argue with that. The USDA takes the plate thing a little far, though, demonstrating portion sizes by showing food on generic white dishes, with no size reference except a grid. (As cliche as "the size of a pack of playing cards" was, I can visualize that better than "taking up the pictured amount of real estate when put on a 10-inch dinner plate.") 

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