Transitioning to the New American Plate- Part 4

This week NSL Nutrition Services dietitians are emphasizing dairy and meat.

The fourth step to making the transition to AICR’s New American Plate is to focus on making healthier choices in the dairy and meat food groups.  The AICR encourages us to make animal sources of protein the smallest portion on our plates: 1/3 or less of our plate.  Below is a list of simple changes we can work toward to making the best choices in this area of our diet:



  • Choose fat-free or low fat milk and yogurt.  If you currently drink whole milk or 2% and find it difficult to accept the taste difference skim milk has, you can gradually transition to fat free milk by replacing half of whole milk with skim/fat free milk until you are drinking only fat free milk.
  • Choose reduced fat cheese or limit regular cheese to 1 ounce a few times a week.
  • When cooking or baking, substitute fat free dairy products (such as fat sour cream, skim milk, fat free condensed milk, etc).



  • Choose to eat fish, chicken and turkey more often than beef, pork and lamb.  Additionally, choose to prepare these foods using lower fat cooking methods such as baking, poaching and braising.
  • Limit red meat (specifically beef, pork and lamb) to 18 ounces or less per week.
  • Avoid processed meat (such as bacon, sausage and hot dogs) or Limit to special occasions.


For more information on ways to make the Transition to the New American Plate, visit