Choose My Plate

One source for sound nutrition advice on cancer prevention and diet is the American Dietetic Association (ADA). As a reference for meal planning, the ADA recommends ChooseMyPlate.gov and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Both of these support the "total diet approach" to eating. This means long-term eating habits are more important than what you eat at a single meal. In their words, "there are no good or bad foods, only good or bad diets or eating styles."

The My Plate plan is a guideline to help you eat a healthy diet. The My Plate plan can help you eat a variety of foods while encouraging the right amount of calories and fat. The USDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have prepared the following My Plate plan to guide you in selecting foods.

Choose My Plate icon

My Plate is divided into five food group categories, emphasizing nutritional intake of the following:

  • Grains: Foods that are made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain are grain products. Examples include whole wheat, brown rice, and oatmeal.

  • Vegetables: Vary your vegetables. Choose a variety of vegetables, including dark green, red, and orange kinds, legumes (peas and beans), and starchy vegetables.

  • Fruits: Any fruit or 100 percent fruit juice counts as part of the fruit group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut-up, or pureed.

  • Dairy: Milk products and many foods made from milk are considered part of this food group. Focus on fat-free or low-fat products, as well as those that are high in calcium.

  • Protein: Go lean on protein. Choose low-fat or lean meats and poultry. Vary your protein routine -- choose more fish, nuts, seeds, peas, and beans.

Oils are not a food group, yet some, such as nut oils, contain essential nutrients and can be included in your diet. Others, such as animal fats, are solid and should be avoided.

Exercise and every day physical activity should also be included with a healthy dietary plan. 

Always consult your health care provider regarding your healthy diet and exercise requirements.

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