I recently came across Jeff Novick's "Plate Test" while browsing DrMcDougall.com discussion forum. Jeff is a Registered Dietitian and a terrific source of healthy lifestyle information. He has his own website. Here is the entire discussion.
In response to a question about the value of routine blood lipid tests, Jeff said:
Yes. The basic blood lipids are fine. ....................................
But what is more important and what I feel to be the most important test, is what I call the "plate test." Very few people know about it yet it is one of the most effective tests and simple and easy to do and very inexpensive. You can even do it at home.
Here is how you do it.
When you sit down to eat each meal, look at your "plate" and see if it passes this "test", the "Plate Test."
Are at least 95% of the calories on your plate coming from unrefined unprocessed fruits, vegetables, starchy vegetables, intact whole grains and/or legumes? Are there at least 12-15 grams of fiber coming from whole natural foods? Does it meet my guidelines for sodium? Are any "exceptions" being kept to less than 5% of calories?
If your meal passes this "Plate Test", then I think that is the most effective test you can ever have done and the best indicator of your future health and longevity.
Jeff Novick, MS, RD
Jeff's advice makes lots of sense! By the way, his advice on salt is to drastically reduce or eliminate salt from your diet. I try to keep my average daily intake of salt to below 1 gram. If you follow the advice to eat mostly (95%) unprocessed fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, and don't add any salt, you will get well below a gram of salt per day.
If every physician in America would prescribe the Plate Test for their patients, we would have a much healthier nation and just imagine what would happen to health costs.