Busting Up the Official USDA Food Pyramid
Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites
The Ever Changing Food Pyramid - Now It's a Plate
It's old news that the official USDA Food Pyramid split into twelve different directions in order to provide clarity to diet and nutrition.
The twelve mini-pyramids were intended to better-meet we-humans busy lifestyles.
Although breaking up the Pyramid may have been a good idea to help people get more specific information to meet their personal lifestyles, there was a huge gap in the overall plan to skinnize the populous, as well as make us all healthy.
The gap lies between the small pyramids and the individual.
We have good information that outlines what we should eat each day, and we have a subject - in fact billions of subjects. But there is no way to get the message to the subject in need, because the subject in need is busily munching on a deluxe brownie and doesn't give a whang about a stupid pointy pyramid.
And if one must criticize, they must also offer suggestions for solutions. Ours include the following....
Insurance companies should treat an annual visit to the nutritionist the same as an annual visit to the doctor's office and offer incentives to those individuals who opt to do such. The big pay off? It's HUGE!
Insurance companies win because health costs decrease in most cases when individuals are healthy.
For individuals - losing weight automatically increases a person's level of health and well-being.
Although the twelve pyramids had potential to increase awareness of nutrition, daily food requirements should have been based on more than a person's sex, age and level of activity. If I ate as much as my pyramid recommends, I'd be bigger than Bullah the Cow.
In addition, a recommendation for 2 cups of vegetables and 1.5 cups of fruit just doesn't cut the Diet Mustard because not all foods are created equal.
Example: A banana on a per cup basis contains far more calories than a cup of strawberries. And even though I am an advocate of measuring foods until one is used to portion size, who is actually going to carry around a set of measuring spoons and cups?
Restaurants and fast food establishments should be required to post the nutritional values of their foods so the public can make better nutritional choices.
This is starting to finally roll into play with more and more fast food dining establishments jumping on board, providing nutritional data that is readily available to their customers - before they make those selections and place their order.
It's odd how the government can get that annual tax packet to us with no problem at all. Why not health packets?
The Food Plate
Life is ever-changing, isn't it? Gone are the 12 and in their place resides the Food Plate. It's a wonky thing - about as useful as an old shoe.
The purpose is to look at the meal plate and to fill each spot with a basic food group. Like Duh - if everyone knows the basic groups, what indeed is the purpose of the plate?
Furthermore, our body requires more than one serving from some of the food groups for each meal. And unless one is preparing an omelet stuffed with vegetables for breakfast, the vegetable group isn't going to be invited to the early morning meal plate.
Fact is, if our body wasn't so darn bright in processing the things that we put into it each day, we'd all be in deep voodoo. Dieting isn't easy; it's hard work. Most individuals don't even know how many foods their body personally requires from each basic food group - much less name them. This is the first step towards achieving a healthier body.
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