How to Follow the New American Plate and MyPlate

The New American Plate by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is a good example of how to design your meals to help you achieve and maintain a healthy body weight and transition to a more plant-based diet. Quite simply, it encourages you to visualize your plate when you plan and prepare meals.

As you can see from the following illustration, your plate should be two-thirds full with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, or beans. Only one-third of the plate should be animal protein. This is pretty much the opposite of the typical American plate.

[Credit: Illustration courtesy of the American Institute for Cancer Research]
Credit: Illustration courtesy of the American Institute for Cancer Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has adopted a similar eating guide through MyPlate, shown here. MyPlate has replaced the old Food Guide Pyramid as a means to help encourage a diet made up of grains, vegetables, and fruits, with much smaller amounts of protein.

[Credit: Illustration courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture]
Credit: Illustration courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture
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