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MyPlate: The Protein Food Group



MyPlate: The Protein Food Group
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.5

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    quarter-pound, tofu, veggie, deli, hummus, repair, fiber, daily, tablespoon, ounces, several, glance, certain, pork, iron, kids
     content words:    Food Pyramid, United States


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MyPlate: The Protein Food Group
By Cindy Grigg
  

1     MyPlate can help me - and you, too - make good food choices. MyPlate is a new symbol that replaced the Food Pyramid. Just a glance at MyPlate shows you that half your plate should be covered with fruits and vegetables. A little less than one-fourth of the plate should be protein.
 
2     The protein food group includes meats that come from animals. Beef, chicken, and pork are some common meats eaten in the United States. Fish, seafood, and shellfish are proteins, too. Eggs are another protein food that comes from animals.
 
3     Proteins are made of amino acids. These are chains of building blocks for your body. Your body can make some amino acids. Others, called "essential amino acids," must come from the foods you eat. Foods that contain all the essential amino acids are called complete proteins. All of these foods come from animals-fish and milk are two examples.
 
4     We can get protein from other foods besides meat, milk, and eggs. Dried beans, peas, nuts, and soy are good sources of protein, too. Protein foods that come from plants are great choices. These foods should be eaten several times each week, even by people who choose to eat meat. They give us many nutrients like iron, zinc, and B vitamins. They are low in fat. They have fiber, too!
 
5     Proteins from plants are incomplete proteins. They lack some of the essential amino acids. Your body can use them along with other foods to build complete proteins. Beans alone will not give you a complete protein, but beans and rice will. It isn't even necessary to eat the two foods together. If you eat them in the same day, your body will get what it needs to put together complete proteins.

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