January 1, 2024

MyPlate vs MyPyramid - Do You Know the Difference? 


Nutrition guidance has evolved over the years, transitioning from MyPyramid to MyPlate. Both are visual representations designed to help individuals make healthier food choices, but they differ in their approach and presentation. In this article, we'll explore the key differences between MyPyramid and MyPlate and how they serve as valuable tools in promoting balanced eating habits.

Did you know that the Dietary Guidelines are updated every five years? Starting in 1980 they have been issued by the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services. Check out the most recent Dietary guidelines for America.

Pyramid to Plate Timeline 

In 1992 the most recognized food pyramid was released.
1992 mypyramid

In 2005 a new MyPyramid was released that explained why each of the five food groups were important to have in your diet. 

In 2011 the USDA created MyPlate, what we currently use, which focuses on all the food groups being a part of your plate.  

MyPlate vs MyPyramid: What’s the difference? 

There are three noticeable changes from MyPyramid vs MyPlate. Let's dig into these, fairly significant, differences. 


Grains vs. Fruits & Veggies 

MyPyramid had an emphasis on grains. While MyPlate focuses on fruits and vegetables taking up half your plate.

In addition to making your plate half fruits and veggies, MyPlate also recommends making half of your grains whole. This might look like choosing whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, or switching to brown rice.

Fats and Oils  

MyPyramid mentioned fats and oils in small quantities. But MyPlate doesn’t have a category for fats, oils or sugars at all on its graphic.

Fats and oils aren’t all created equally nutrient-wise. If you’re curious about this visit the MyPlate website, it provides great insight into what fats and oils you can incorporate into your diet. Click here to read about it.

Serving Sizes 

MyPyramid listed serving sizes. But MyPlate does not mention how many servings you should have of any of the good groups, rather it is a plate that depicts how much each food group should take up.

MyPlate has these recommendations for your food groups: 
  • Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables 
    • Focus on whole fruits
    • Get a variety of vegetables 
  • Make half your grains whole grains 
  • Vary your protein sources 
    • Focus on lean protein sources 
  • Move to low-fat or fat-free dairy 
    • Milk or yogurt 


Create a Personalized Nutrition Plan 

MyPlate touts to “Make Every Bite Count”. They even created a personalized MyPlate Plan option. This will help you create a plan based on your age, sex, height, weight, and physical activity level!

When you visit www.myplate.gov you will be able to find tips to help build healthier diets and materials to help focus on healthy behaviors. Check it out! 

Free Online Cooking Course 

Create Better Health offers a free online course to learn more about MyPlate plus other helpful things like meal planning, basic cooking skills and grocery shopping strategies. The classes are self-paced and backed up by the latest nutrition guidelines. If you enjoyed learning from this post, you will definitely love our online courses!

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myplate vs my pyramid pinterest pin

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