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Understanding the Nutrition Plate Template: How Does It Work?

A balanced diet goes beyond having a little bit of everything. For the best results, you also want to consider how much of everything you have on your plate.

One recommendation you might often get is to follow the nutrition plate template. But what exactly is it, and how can you comply?

Let’s look into what it’s about and how to make it work for you!

Defining the Nutrition Plate Template

Generally, the nutrition plate is a visual template that shows a healthy way to fill your plate for every meal, color-coded accordingly. While everyone’s recommended diet may differ, it represents a general guideline of the healthiest way to eat for anyone, regardless of other restrictions.

Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to look exactly the way it should on the plate. Rather, it emphasizes the portions you should consume for each food group. This way, you can pay better attention to the nutritional value you receive without worrying too much about the numbers.

Two popular nutrition plate templates used are MyPlate, issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Healthy Eating Plate, created by experts at Harvard. There are debates about which model works best, but they showcase a similar idea of what you should consume.

Main Components of the Nutrition Plate Template

Knowing how the nutrition plate template looks gives you an idea of what to include in your meal. But for better results, you want to know what falls under each category. This way, you can incorporate it in your own way.

Here’s a look at its major components:

Fruits

On the first half of the plate, you might notice fruits taking up about a third of it. These provide you with vitamins and minerals in bigger amounts than what you can usually gain from other food groups.

Many recommend having whole fruit in this portion for higher nutritional value. At the same time, it gives more color to your plate and allows you to enhance or improve flavors accordingly.

Vegetables

Vegetables take up the remaining two-thirds of one-half of the plate. This makes it the largest section in the nutrition plate template.

Different kinds of veggies offer a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Moreover, they are naturally low in calories and high in fiber.

Experts suggest selecting veggies that each offer something different. Take your time to figure out which works best with each other and how to come up with the best balance.

Protein

The other half of the plate is divided into two sections, one of them dedicated to proteins. These help you build your body and maintain your muscles and tissues.

Note that protein doesn’t always have to be meat. It also includes seafood, eggs, tofu, nuts, and select veggies.

Grains

The last portion of the plate should be filled with grains. Experts usually recommend whole grains for higher nutrition and fiber content, improving your metabolic health. It can include whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, or quinoa.

Others

According to the Harvard Healthy Eating Plate, you want to add healthy fats and beverages on the side. Healthy fats include olive oil, avocado, or nuts, and should be consumed moderately.

Furthermore, your plate should always come with a good drink to maintain hydration. Some of the best options include water, tea, and sugar-free drinks.

On the other hand, the MyPlate structure requires dairy instead. You can add it to your meal, such as cheese, or take it as a side, like a milk drink or yogurt fruit smoothie.

How to Make It Work

Anyone can follow the nutrition plate template as long as they understand the proper portions for each food group. This way, you can get the best results while maintaining overall health.

Meal kit services are a great solution to this transition since it offers you fully prepared and balanced meals. So, you won’t have to worry about missing out on your intake.

A 2019 study finds that following the nutrition plate template contributes to weight loss and feeling fuller. Aside from this, it offers more health benefits by improving your consumption and eating habits.

With meal kits, you can easily keep up with this, without feeling too overwhelmed with the sudden change.

Follow the Nutrition Plate Template with Fully Prepared Meals

Fully prepared meals are one of the best ways to switch up your eating habits and follow a balance. The nutrition plate template is a great guideline to help you understand if you’re consuming healthy amounts. This way, you can focus on meal prep services that meet these requirements.

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