Yesterday, I wrote about the problems with the outdated USDA Food Pyramid… today, I present to you… a step in the wrong direction!
While the outdated “Pyramid” was apparently too confusing for normal people to understand, the new “MyPlate” was designed to be easy to understand, and it is… insultingly easy!
It’s true that a visual representation of a plate may be easier to interpret for many people, but unfortunately, it is only going to help interpret the same bad advice.
The new MyPlate guidelines, pioneered by Michelle Obama, still suggest at least half of dietary intake come from starches and sugars (grains and fruit), less than 1/4 come from protein, and another 1/4 come from vegetables, which could also be starchy.
Dairy, presumably low-fat, is thrown in as an afterthought, that should be consumed as a liquid, preferably preceded by a “skim, 1% or 2%.”
Fat? Hmmm… I guess the $2 million dollar committee-based-effort just forgot to include the recommendation for any fat…
Maybe they missed all the recent information about major studies concluding that saturated fat doesn’t cause heart disease, or the meta-analysis showing no link between fat and heart disease, or all the information presented by Gary Taubes in his (500 page) brilliant case against the lipid hypothesis.
Heck, a $2 million dollar effort can hardly be expected to examine all the information and present an unbiased conclusion, especially when the USDA is so busy subsidizing foods like corn, wheat, and soybeans to the tune of $20 Billion a year!
Now, this wouldn’t be so bad if the USDA were just offering these “guidelines” for free-thinking adults who are capable of buying their own food and making their own nutrition decisions. The problem is, these guidelines also dictate what children are fed at schools. (Though, this might be a good thing in some parents eyes)
Further restricting fat and calories is not only going to do nothing for the childhood obesity epidemic, it is harmful to developing brains of children. In fact, not getting enough fat, or getting the wrong kind of fat (like vegetable oils promoted by the USDA) has been shown to have a negative impact on IQ later in life.
Yet, this new government-generated graphic is supposed to lead us all on the path to optimal health, even though the food pyramid (which was basically the exact same recommendations) has done the opposite… not that any of us could follow it, because it was so confusing. (eyeroll)
You’ve probably caught on by now that I’m pretty peeved at this latest attempt to intervene in our nation’s health, especially because the advice being promoted is going damage health, not improve it (though I wouldn’t want government interference even if they were promoting the exact same thing I was).
If people want to make the choice to live on Pizza, hamburgers and soda, they should absolutely have that choice, in my opinion. It is the fact that many people are being misled into thinking that a “balanced” diet of grains, sugars, and vegetables with a little protein and very little fat is actually the standard they should look to for health.
I’m annoyed that the “experts” are still telling people that it is all about portion control and “calories in, calories out” while these same people, trying to follow that advice, are getting sicker! (Not to mention it is much more about hormones than calories!)
It makes me sick that healthy fats (saturated included!) are still being demonized, and disease causing omege-6 Vegetable oils are still recommended. (Still not sure on the fats issue? Watch this documentary for free now!)
What Is The Solution?
Step One: Stop looking to any branch of the government for nutritional advice (especially one that subsidizes agricultural crops!)
Step Two: Do your own research and take responsibility for your own health! (Don’t take my word for anything… research it yourself!)
For my part, I thought that a few changes could help the new MyPlate actually look like something that I would put on my plate. If I had to stick with the same model, it would likely look something like this:
But, then again, if I wasn’t limited to a measly $2 million dollar budget because I’d spent all my money subsidizing corn, wheat and soybeans, I might even design a really flashy plate that would help all of us who were “confused” by the pyramid to really understand what to eat. Though, mine would look like this:
Heck, it would even be better to eat a plate that always looked like this (courtesy of this great article):
Bottom line… if you want to be healthier, fill YourPlate with foods like meats, eggs, vegetables, avocado, coconuts, some fruits, raw full-fat dairy etc and limit anything canned, bagged, processed or frozen (especially if it contains corn, wheat or soybeans).
What do you think? Is the new MyPlate a step in the right direction or merely a more insulting way of offering bad dietary advice? What would your plate look like?