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Daily government emails teach people how to eat


Anyone who isn't being nagged enough about how to eat right can sign up for a daily email from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is offering daily tips on how to eat better.

USDA's "MyPlate" website is where the government's nutrition guide is housed. It was launched in 2011, with the help of First Lady Michelle Obama, and notably replaced USDA's traditional food pyramid with something closer to a pie chart (although there is no room for pie on the chart).

myplate USDA's MyPlate logo represents the new way the federal government wants you to think about food.

MyPlate also lets people sign up for a daily email that offers such advice as:

"Flavored waters or vitamin waters may have added sweeteners. Be sure to read the nutrition facts label on these beverages."

"Working on portion control? Try using smaller plates. That way you feel like you're eating a whole plate without overindulging."

"When cooking meat or chicken at home, keep it lean by draining off any fat that appears during cooking."

Like any good parent, MyPlate doesn't stop just because it's the weekend. On Saturday, MyPlate emailed:

"Adjust your recipes to cut back on total calories and empty calories. Experiment by reducing the amount of butter, margarine, and sugars you add."

And on Sunday, MyPlate offered this:

"Be mindful to eat slowly, enjoy the taste and textures, and pay attention to how you feel. Use hunger and fullness cues to recognize when to eat and when you've had enough."

Most emails include a link to more detailed food advice from USDA. Sunday's email linked to a page offering 10 tips on how to "enjoy your food, but eat less."

Those tips included "get to know the foods you eat," and "make treats 'treats,' not everyday foods."

According to the MyPlate website, the service provides "practical information to individuals, health professionals, nutrition educators, and the food industry to help consumers build healthier diets with resources and tools for dietary assessment, nutrition education, and other user-friendly nutrition information. As Americans are experiencing epidemic rates of overweight and obesity, the online resources and tools can empower people to make healthier food choices for themselves, their families, and their children."

A Spanish-language version of the site, MiPlato, was also launched in 2011.

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