Look at your plate the next time you dig in at dinner.
Is it nothing but a sea of spaghetti or spilling over with stroganoff?
If that's your plate — high on starches and low on fruits and vegetables — it's far from what's considered ideal.
The federal government on Thursday presented the plate as a new symbol of healthy eating to replace the food pyramid.
The new graphic resembles a plate containing the recommended amount of food it should contain for each meal: half a plate of fruits and vegetables, and the other half protein and grains.
The graphic's goal is to be more consumer-friendly than the sometimes-confusing food pyramid and to reinforce the need to consume fruits and vegetables.
But it will probably take more than a revamped symbol to persuade Americans to eat their broccoli and bananas.
A lack of fruits and vegetables is one of the most pressing nutrition problems for most people. Nationally, fewer than one-third of adults eat fruits or vegetables a couple of times per day, according the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The country's growing obesity problem is driving the government's recent emphasis on healthy eating. More than half of adults and one-third of children are overweight or obese.
We are told over and over to add more fruits and veggies to our diet, but it can be a hard change to swallow.
Taste is part of the problem. People often say their taste buds just don't get excited over a strawberry or a green bean like they do over a salty chip or a sugary slice of chocolate cake, said Toni Kuehneman, a cardiac dietitian at Alegent Health.
That's probably because they didn't grow up eating fruits and veggies, so they never acquired a taste for them, Toni says.
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Republished with permission from Omaha.com