How to Make a Healthy Eating Plate

By Elsie Goycoolea. Updated: August 3, 2020
How to Make a Healthy Eating Plate

One of the best ways to eat a balanced diet is by learning how to make a healthy eating plate. Nutritional experts at Harvard School of Public Health devised a Healthy Eating Plate in an attempt to replace the traditional food pyramid of healthy eating. They created a diagram that splits major food groups into sections varying in size. Some sections are larger indicating that this food group should make up for the vast majority of your plate and also of your diet. The groups are vegetables, fruits, healthy proteins, whole grains, healthy oils and water.

In this OneHowTo article we share greater insight into how to make a healthy eating plate.

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The largest food group in the Healthy Eating Plate is vegetables. About ¾ of your plate should be made up of vegetables. These can be raw or cooked and preferably as colorful and varied as possible. Vegetables have a low caloric density but are high in nutrient density, making them optimal for weight loss diets. Starchy tubers such as potatoes, sweet potatoes or taro shouldn’t be included in this section.

How to Make a Healthy Eating Plate - Vegetables


Fruits should make up for ¼ of your plate, which means that half of your meal should be filled with fruits and vegetables. This section doesn’t include sweet desserts, as these foods are not recommended in a healthy diet. Sugar is strongly discouraged especially in the form of added sugars. Aim for fresh fruits without added sugar.

How to Make a Healthy Eating Plate - Fruits

Whole Grains

While many food pyramids place whole grains in the lower end of the pyramid and offer the recommendation of 6 to 8 servings of grains per day, the Healthy Eating plate only allocates a ¼ of the plate to this food group. The key point to remember is that the type of carbohydrate and the nutrient density of the food will have a stronger impact on a person’s health. For that reason make sure to include some whole grains, tubers and beans in your plate but in moderate quantities.

Healthy Proteins

The last ¼ of your plate should include healthy proteins such as meat, fish, beans or nuts. Red meat should be eaten in moderation and other meat cuts are preferred with a lean fat content. Protein is an essential macronutrient but one that shouldn’t be eaten in excessive quantities. The recommended daily protein consumption extends from 0.8 to 1g per kilogram of body weight also taking into consideration physical activity.

How to Make a Healthy Eating Plate - Healthy Proteins

Healthy Oils and Water

Every meal should also include a percentage of fats and thus healthy oils are included in the Healthy Eating Plate. Oils with a high content in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as olive oil and other vegetable oils are preferred over other saturated fats. There isn’t a minimum or maximum fat recommendation but in no case a low fat diet is stressed.

Moreover, nutritional experts are keen on recommending a high intake of water along with daily physical activity. Other sugary beverages and alcohol drinks should only be consumed sparingly.

How to Make a Healthy Eating Plate - Healthy Oils and Water

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Make a Healthy Eating Plate, we recommend you visit our Healthy living category.

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