Harvard Nutritionists Develop Their Own Plate For Healthy Eating

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) revamped its healthy eating recommendations a few months ago with a new visual; an icon called 'MyPlate,' replacing the former healthy foods pyramid icon.  The Nutrition Source at the Harvard School of Public Health thinks the government's plate lacks a good bit of guidance as to which specific foods should be eaten - after all MyPlate offers no guidance.

Just to refresh your memory, here is the recently issued MyPlate by the USDA....


The USDA's icon for healthy eating: MyPlateThe USDA's icon for healthy eating: MyPlate


And this is the Harvard Healthy Eating Plate revealed by Harvard Health Publications on September 14, 2011...


Harvard's Healthy Eating PlateHarvard's Healthy Eating Plate


Yes, indeed.  The Harvard plate certainly has a lot more on it - and it's not because it's an elite school either.  The Harvard plan is a true guide to what's healthy and what's not.  Not all proteins are good for you, and don't let anyone tell you that a slice of floury white bread constitutes a healthy grain. Not only do the categories need to be elucidated, but the Harvard plate is different substantively, as Harvard does not include the dairy recommendation at every meal, noting that studies show too much dairy can be bad for you. 

In fairness the USDA's plate, its website does have links to pages that provide more in-depth information on proper dietary choices within each category.  It's just a whole lot more convenient to have most of that information summarized in one place, like the Harvard plate has it. 

As one who thought the former USDA food pyramid was just fine, I have to say in this new debate, Harvard Plate vs. USDA Plate, I'm on Harvard's side.  Even Yale is backing it.

sources: St. Louis Post Dispatch, Harvard Health Publications 



Sep 16, 2011
by Anonymous

Harvard Healthy Eating Plate

The Harvard Healthy Eating Plate is waaay better than the USDA's simply because it is more specific rather than general. When you say a healthy diet consists of protein, you dont really mean that you can drink as much milk or eat as much eggs as you want, right? Too much protein can harm your kidneys and the Harvard Healthy Eating Plate made specific recommendations on how much is the right amount of milk a person can take. Great structure!

Sep 17, 2011
by Anonymous

Oil concerns

Dr. Esselstein of "Forks Over Knives" and Dr. Cample (The China Study) both say NO oil and that the belief that olive oil is okay for you is a myth. My own doctor now believes this too. Any thoughts on the oil vs. no oil argument?

Sep 19, 2011
by Anonymous

Healthy eating plate

USDA done a great job. Healthy plate looks very nice and healthy. This plate is correct quantity for good health. Great structure. Thank you for the healthy plate.