- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
MyPlate: The Official Replacement for the USDA Food Pyramid - Facts and Controversies
The Food Pyramid is now a Pie Chart - or The Plate
The Pyramid Comes Down
Does anyone remember the Four Food Groups from the last century?
What The Plate of the USDA will look like at the June 2, 2011 unveiling by First Lady Michelle Obama is under major guesswork. All types of groups and bloggers are guessing what it will look like and how full or empty it will be. We know that it will be half filled with fruits and vegetables, with less of all the rest and likely very little sugar, salt, and fats.
This new pie chart presented as a plate of foods is healthier overall than the Food Pyramid, because the pyramid formula proporations are, as revealed to me by a cattle rancher and colleagues in 1992, used as a nutritional scheme to fatten up beef cattle and have been used for decades.
The cattle framework is not called a food pyramid for cattle, but the proportions of foods are the same as the ones on nutritional pyramids invented via Healthy People 2000 program development from 1989 - 2000 and published in 1992 for humans - especially too much in starchy grain/vegetables like corn and too much bread.
It is fortunate and effective for humans that the Food Pyramids for various cultures are disappearing. This includes First Nations in Canada, which allows proportionately more game-derived meat, but still too much bread.
Not everyone is accustomed to consuming fruits and vegetables even several times a week, let alone upping that low rate to 50% of daily food intake. This may be easier to accomplish for people during warmer weather when many consumers prefer cool drinks and light meals. During colder months, people often consumer larger quantities of meat and carbohydrates and some people like heavy desserts all year.
With the melting polar ice causing cooler and more erratic weather in the Midwest, Ohio now has only 4 warm months, whereas it enjoyed 6 or 7 warmer months as late as the mid-2000s. In the lower half of the state, weather cools off rapidly in October, stays cold and/or rainy through the first three weeks of May, then becomes a stifling hotbox until the end of September. This and the hot sun are not pleasant and do not help humans to build an appetite. In fact, many people dehydrate. Consuming more fruits, vegetables, teas, and water can help us there as well.
Food and Nutrition in the 2010s
Food Pyramids: 1992 to 2009
- Nutrition Aids: A Myriad of Food Pyramids
A variety of Food Pyramids were developed by US and Candian Governments after 1992 and some groups still use them , instead of MyPlate.
- The National Office of Dietary Supplements
The Office of Dietary Supplements regulates their use in America and offers best practices associated with them.
Food Pyramid - Long History of US Nutrition
- USDA Food Pyramid History - Politics and Nutrition
The USDA Food Pyramid has a long history and has been rewritten many times.
Basic Four Food Groups: 1956 - 1992
- Red meat, poultry, pork, fish, dry beans and peas, eggs, nuts, legumes
- Dairy products - milk, cheese, butter, yogurt
- Fruits and Vegetables
Basic Seven Food Groups: 1911 through WWII
The Future: Check Out Healthy People 2020 - US Goals
- Healthy People 2020 - Improving the Health of Americans
Learn the ways that Healthy People 2020 is planning to improve the health of all Americans in 10 years
The Plate and 6 Guidelines
- "Enjoy your food, but eat less." -- Actually, The Plate urges us to add additional fruits and vegetables up to a total of 50% of all food intake daily.
- "Avoid over-sized portions." - This may mean measuring food portions, which can be time consuming, embarrassing, and seen as punishment. However, 4 oz. of meat as a serving may well seem punishment to those who eat 7 oz. steaks.
- "Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables." - For those of use that enjoy fruits and vegetables, this is a treat. But not if they continue to become more expensive!
- Change milk-drinking from whole or 2% to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk. -- Not everyone can do this, and 2% is as low as I can go for drinking. I can cook with lower-fat milk and notice no change in flavor, though.
- Read labels and compare the sodium content in canned vegetables (buy no-sodium added at the same price), canned and dried soups, breads, frozen meals, prepared foods on the selves, fast food, and others. Choose the lower numbers. For instance, ALDI canned soups are cheap, have a lot of sodium, and don't taste very good. Campbells' is really becoming expensive, though. I pick up the store brands on sale or make my own.
- "Drink water instead of sugary drinks." -- Doctors often tell us that herbal or caffeine-free teas are just as good as water. And I like unsweetened tea and Iced Coffee with cream, but no sugar - at least I don't add cream AND sugar to it.
If American families can progress from eating NO fruits and vegetables to SOME of these healthier foods, then the change can lead to an improvement in health. It certainly will help the kids that are habitually overfed by adults. Returning to a finer point, who will help families afford the increasing prices of fruits and vegetables? Some can grow their own, but not everyone is able to do so.
USDA New Dietary Guidelines for a Nation 2010 - 2011
- New U.S. Dietary Guidelines: What Not to Eat
For the first time, new US dietary guidelines do more than tell us what's good for us -- They spell out how to avoid specific foods and lifestyle choices that make us fat and sick. (Note: We hope it presents much improvement and will give it a try.)