WASHINGTON, March 5 (UPI) -- A non-profit group of U.S. doctors recommends an alternative to what it says is the often confusing food pyramid -- a Power Plate.
"People eat from plates, not pyramids," Susan Levin, nutrition education director at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, said in a statement. "We need easy-to-use dietary guidance tools that teach people how to eat right to fight chronic diseases. Studies show people who eat mostly from the four Power Plate food groups have the lowest risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes."
The Power Plate -- ThePowerPlate.org -- is a graphic that depicts a plate divided into four food groups: fruits, grains, legumes and vegetables, Levin said.
"The Power Plate, unlike the food pyramid, has no confusing portion sizes and food hierarchies; it simply asks that people eat a variety of all four food groups each day," Levin said.
The food pyramid, first introduced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1991, recommends two to three servings each of meat and dairy products daily despite evidence they increase cholesterol, elevate blood pressure and speed the onset of diabetes, Levin said.
The average American now consumes more than 215 pounds of meat each year -- up from 144 pounds in 1950.
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