A few years after the USDA created the new MyPlate, Harvard nutrition experts decided to set up their own Healthy Eating Plate. The changes were made to address the deficiencies in the USDA’s MyPlate, most likely caused by intensive food industry lobbying. The central message of the Healthy Eating Plate is to focus on diet quality vs. broad guidelines like the MyPlate.

For example:

  • The different types of carbohydrates in your diet are more important than a number of carbohydrates. Sources of carbs like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans are healthier than others.
  • Harvard’s plate advises people to avoid all sugary beverages which is one of the leading causes of lifestyle diseases like diabetes.
  • The Healthy Eating Plate promotes healthy oils and does not place a limit of calories from fat. Harvard is promoting the consumption of healthy fats which goes against the low-fat message advocated by the USDA for decades.

See the stark difference in the plates below.

usda myplate harvard healthy eating plate

 

harvard healthy eating plate usda myplate

 

Inspired by hsph.harvard.edu