Harvard or USDA?
The Harvard School of Public Health has recently issued a comparison of their Healthy Eating Plate to the USDA MyPlate. While both plates are designed to take the place of the old food pyramid the Harvard School of Public Health Website raises some good points about the differences between the two.
One of the Harvard criticisms of MyPlate is that it only lists grains as being a healthy source of food without differentiating between whole and processed varieties. Whole grains such as brown rice and whole wheat are more heart healthy than processed grains that tend to lose vitamins and fiber during the refining process.
The Harvard Plate also warns about too many potatoes vs. other vegetables while MyPlate recommends increasing consuming all vegetables. Harvard’s version of the plate also speaks more about the healthy fats derived sources like olive and canola oils.
All comparisons aside both plates are an improvement over the food references we’ve had available in the past. Both plates suggest a heavier emphasis on natural foods and snacks for improved health. Natural snacks like almonds are a great source of fiber, protein and heart healthy nutrients. Consuming more all natural foods in favor of high fat, processed snacks will result in better overall health regardless who’s “plate” you decide to eat from.