Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Myth: A sandwich doesn't fit with the new MyPlate symbol so I just won’t count it.

Answer: BUSTED!

The new MyPlate symbol shows you how to choose foods to make a healthy plate. But how does a sandwich fit with MyPlate? How do you know how much of each ingredient on your plate contributes to the recommended amounts for each food group? You could take each sandwich ingredient and estimate how much of each ingredient is in the sandwich. Or, you can use MyFoodaPedia. This nifty website from the U.S. Department of Agriculture can tell you what your meal is providing. Enter “sandwich” in the food name area and you will get a drop down menu with various sandwich choices. If you click on roast beef, for example, you will see on the left side of the screen the recommended daily total amounts for each food group for a 2000 calorie diet. On the right you will see how the ingredients in the roast beef sandwich contributes to the recommended amounts for each food group. You can also see how many calories the extras (added sugar, fat and, in some cases, alcohol) like ketchup or mayonnaise add to the sandwich. (No, adding ketchup doesn’t mean you have contributed to the daily recommended amount from the vegetable group!) Here is a screenshot of the roast beef sandwich information:
screenshot of roast beef sandwich nutrition information on MyFoodaPedia website

Want to compare a roast beef sandwich to another sandwich choice? Click on “Compare two foods” and it tells you to enter another food in the box or click on one of the choices in the drop-down menu. You can then compare how the two choices contribute to the recommended daily total amounts for each food group as well as the calories they have and the calories from extras in the two choices. Here is a screenshot comparing the roast beef sandwich to a ham sandwich with mayo:
screenshot comparing nutrition information of roast beef sandwich and ham sandwich with mayo on MyFoodaPedia website

Find a mobile app version of this website at

For more nutrition and health information go to

Contributor: Ellen Schuster, M.S., R.D., Associate State Specialist, University of Missouri Extension,, 573-882-1933

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