Last year the USDA food pyramid was changed to a plate with recommendations of 1/2 the plate consisting of vegetables and fruits, one quarter for whole grains and one quarter for protein. Dairy was off to the side in a glass. Honestly if you add a salad to that, make the half plate all veggies, 86 the milk and that is pretty much my usual dinner.
Not everyone can tolerate the same foods though. Some people can't tolerate gluten, some can't tolerate dairy and others have trouble with certain vegetables. Added to that there are a bunch of different dietary theories with conflicting ideas. It's confusing and it's hard to know which theory is correct.
The thing is no one diet works for everyone. It can be both frustrating and a relief to hear that. Some people really do need to eat less carbohydrates and others really do better on less protein. I do best with less sugar, minimal dairy, a lot of greens and a balance of whole grains and protein. I only know this through experimenting and the elimination diet. (which is not as creepy as it sounds, you give up a certain group of food for 10 days and then add it back in. to see how you feel).
Do you know which foods give you the most energy, leave you feeling satiated and not bloated, and have you powering through your day? And, on the flip side, do you recognize which foods leave you feeling sluggish and too tired to go on without some sort of boost from caffeine or sugar? It can really help with your day to day life as well as any sports or competitions that you participate in.
Helping people figure this out is what I do. I'm available for in person consultations as well as phone and email. Send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment if you're interested in learning more. I'd love to hear from you!