Archive for September, 2011

Harvard Counters USDA with Their own Healthy Eating Plate

September 18th, 2011

Harvard released their own version of the USDA’s MyPlate, based on the “latest and best science.”

Unlike the USDA, Harvard’s recommendations are not limited by the food industry lobbyists. Instead of using generalized, confusing statements like “eat less solid fats” to hint at reducing saturated fat intake while appeasing the meat and dairy council, Harvard’s plate has much more specific recommendations. Here are some differences, from the press release:

  • MyPlate does not tell consumers that whole grains are better for health than refined grains
  • Its protein section offers no indication that some high-protein foods—fish, poultry, beans, nuts—are healthier than red meats and processed meats
  • It is silent on beneficial fats; it does not distinguish between potatoes and other vegetables
  • MyPlate recommends dairy at every meal, even though there is little evidence that high dairy intake protects against osteoporosis but substantial evidencethat high intake can be harmful
  • It says nothing about sugary drinks

Finally, the Healthy Eating Plate reminds people to stay active, an important factor in weight control, while MyPlate does not mention the importance of activity.