Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association

Is One Half of Your Plate Filled with Fruits and Veggies?

June 6th, 2011 | Posted in: Cooking, Health & Nutrition, News, Parents, Recipes

It should be, according to the new Dietary Guidelines released by the U.S.Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The unveiling of the new MyPlate graphic and website by First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is turning a lot of heads — and receiving plenty of positive feedback. It certainly is an improvement over the complicated MyPyramid of the past.

MyPlate is meant to “serve as a reminder to help consumers make healthier food choices” — and it’s meant to do so in a simple, straightforward manner that accommodates the busy lifestyles of American families.

So just what do the Guidelines recommend? In a nutshell, they recommend you:

Balance Calories

  • Enjoy your food, but eat less.
  • Avoid oversized portions.

Foods to Increase

  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
  • Make at least half your grains whole grains

Foods to Reduce

  • Compare sodium (salt) in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals, and choose foods with lower numbers.
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

As you consider what veggies should fill up that one-half of your plate, consider Wisconsin potatoes. Just what can Wisconsin potatoes do for you? Well, potatoes are:

  • Rich in potassium. At 614 mg, the potato is second only to the banana. According to the USDA, diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure.
  • Fat, cholesterol and sodium free.
  • Gluten-free — and we have gluten-free potato recipes for you.
  • Packed with 45% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C. The USDA notes that Vitamin C helps heal cuts and wounds, keeps teeth and gums healthy, and assists iron absorption.
  • Low in calories — with just 110 calories for a medium potato.
  • A great source of fiber. The USDA reports that fiber helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower your risk of heart disease. Fiber is important for proper bowel function, helping  reduce constipation and diverticulosis. And potatoes can help make you feel fuller with fewer calories.

Looking for some main dish veggie recipes? Try:

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