I had another post scheduled for today, but after I got a magazine in the mail from our local hospital (that I have somehow been subscribed to) and visited a friend who had just had a baby in the hospital, this was on my mind.
The article above is from the magazine from our local hospital. It is supposedly “Your guide to a balanced meal.”
I’ve included the text of the article in bold below with my (highly cynical) commentary after.
Chances are your dinner plate is shaped like a circle, not a triangle. So it makes sense to think of your family’s food choices as part of a circle too.
Ok, we can chalk up one true thing from this article. My dinner plate is indeed shaped like a circle. I wonder how many government dollars it took to figure that out. As for the whole food choices being a circle, it reminds me of something I’ve heard before about food choices… oh yeah… “cause its the circle, the circle of life” (from the Lion King).
That’s the practical idea behind the government’s new MyPlate icon, which replaces MyPyramid. With MyPlate, what you see in the icon directly relates to what you put on your plate.
Brilliant yet again! That old Food Pyramid (which gave King Tut Heart Disease) certainly was outdated and all of us dumb people lacking in government credentials couldn’t really figure out that you were just telling us to eat lots of carbs, some fruits and veggies and very little meat, fats, oils and sweets. Of course, since your health advice has been such a smashing success over the last few decades, I can see why you’d want to update it!
An Easier Way To Eat Healthy. MyPlate is a simple visual reminder to build yourself a healthy plate at mealtimes. For busy parents, it’s a quick and easy way to tell at a glance whether children are getting a balanced meal too. Just remember these basic rules of thumb:
-Make Half the plate fruits and vegetables - heavier on the vegetables. Include red, orange and dark green veggies and colorful fruits.
One thing we agree on! Vegetables (and some fruits) are good and you should eat them. Of course, you guys lump potatoes (a tuber and a starch), corn (a grain) and even french fried into this category, but we agree there. Also, I’d suggest more like half the plate of green, leafy veggies and some fruits on top, but that’s a small point of difference (I say tomato, you say potato, but whatever).
Thank goodness all of us busy parents have you to help us figure out what is healthy for our kids. Without you, we might never figure out that feeding them McDonalds every day or letting them drink soda is not a good idea. What a relief!
-Make the other half grains and protein. Emphasize 100 percent whole grains, like whole grain breads, brown rice and pasta. Select fish and beans for some of your proteins, and when you pick poultry or meat as your protein food, chose lean cuts in small portions.
Great idea (sarcasm). We should certainly eat more grains than protein, since protein is only vital to hundreds of reactions in the body and is needed for cell growth and repair. Grains on the other hand… we need lots of those (sarcasm again!) to be healthy and get our fiber. We definitely shouldn’t worry about the fact that they are not nearly as nutritious as proteins, vegetables or healthy fats. We should ignore the harmful gut-eroding glutens, lectins and phytates which are causing autoimmune disease at record rates. In fact, since a couple pieces of whole wheat toast skyrocket blood sugar just like candy (See FatHead for explanation), candy must be good for us too!
As for the 100% whole grain thing! Thank goodness for those wonderful bread plants and pasta stalks. I’m so glad they don’t have to grind the grains up into small particles, which would increase the surface area and make them affect the blood sugar even more!
We should definitely eat beans instead of meat too, because it has some protein (and lot of carbs). When we combine the carbs from the fruit over on the other half of the plate with the
hearthealthywholegrains on this side and the carbs from beans, we might just be getting close to the 300+ grams of carbs we are supposed to be eating a day according to you guys, even if we are diabetic.
As for fats… those evil arteryclogging saturated villians… certainly they should be avoided. Never mind that they are needed for minor things like hormone production, satiety, healthy reproductive function and more and that they don’t actually make you fat (or cause heart disease)… avoid at all costs. Eat candy instead.
Pour a glass of fat-free or low-fat milk. You’ll get as much calcium and other important nutrients as from whole milk but with less fat and calories.
Oh yes, do that! Of course, the vitamins in milk like the synthetic Vitamin D in minuscule amounts do need fat to be absorbed, but who cares if you are absorbing them, as long as you are getting them! You can’t have your cake and eat it too (unless of course, you use wheat flour and count it as your hearthealthywholegrains).
And calories, those are the bad guys! It doesn’t matter at all if they come from grains and carbohydrates (which raise the blood sugar, get stored as fat and wreak havoc on the body) or proteins (which are needed for important functions like cell repair) or fats (which are a much more dense and effective source of fuel). As long as we limit those calories, we are A-OK! In fact, someone once gave me a bottle of fat free, calorie free, salt free salad dressing. I might just drink the stuff!
And dairy, we need lots of that! Of course, all other animals don’t drink milk after infancy, but dairy is such a healthy source of (relatively nothing since they pasteurize and process it all out) everything, we should drink it too… maybe instead of the salad dressing!
Keep Portions Sensible! Think small dinner plate not supersized platter.
Well shoot… I was soooo looking forward to that gigantic salad I was going to have for dinner. but of course, that would be way more than half the plate of vegetables, so that isn’t good, and the other half would be lots of meat (and not the lean kind) with good ol’ fatty olive oil drizzled on top and nary a grain or dairy in sight. Yep, better not eat that! It won’t be nearly enough nutrients and way too much protein and fat.
What should I eat instead? Maybe a couple slices of blood sugar boosting whole wheat toast with some hummus, an apple and a potato… yep that would fit, as long as I wash it down with the fat free dairy…. sounds so much more nutritious to me!
And I should probably keep some of those super-healthy (sarcasm) 100-Calorie packs with me at all times so that I can eat small portions throughout the day because not eating every 2 hours would be like fasting, which would cannibalize my muscle tissue (or not!).
STEP UP TO THE PLATE. MyPlate was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Wait, what? The U.S. Department of AGRICULTURE is telling us what we should eat? You mean those guys who approved Monsanto’s request to grow genetically modified crops and test them on their own? The same guys who bailed out Domino’s Pizza (lots of saturated fats there) to give the dairy industry a boost? That same organization who’s leader was once a top proponent for Monsanto’s push for genetically modified crops?
Now why would the USDA have any interest in telling us what to eat? They only regulate foods like corn, wheat, soybeans, processed dairy, factory meats…. oh wait! Oh… its all starting o make sense now! (Note to self: consider hiring USDA for brilliant marketing campaign)
It’s designed to translate the government’s 2010 Dietary Health Guidelines for Americans into practical information that you can apply to your meals. Together, these tools help you get the right number of calories for reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. That’s crucial at a time when obesity rates have hit epidemic levels.
How wonderful that we have those sweet, unbiased people at the USDA (who regulate all those heart healthy whole grains and low fat dairy) telling us to eat more heart healthy whole grains and low fat dairy. Surely, they are just concerned about the health of consumers and don’t care one bit about where their funding comes from.
Measures like these will certainly reduce obesity, just as they’ve been doing for the last couple of decades under the government’s guidance (obesity rates have been rising). If only all of us dumb Americans had been smart enough to figure out that that pyramid thing was trying to get us to eat more whole grains these last few decades, we’d all be thin and healthy by now and heart disease and diabetes would be things of the past! (statistics show we actually eat less fat than we did a few decades ago).
[I'm practically choking on sarcasm by now, in case you didn't notice!]
Many people also don’t eat the variety of foods needed for optimal nutrition and health. Both adults and children often come up short on fiber, potassium, calcium and vitamin D.
MyPlate helps you to remember to choose a varied diet.For gauging portion sizes, the old guidelines talked about servings. The new oens refer to cups for fruit, vegetable and dairy and ounces for grains and proteins – units more familiar to home cooks
Yes, we need more varied whole grains! Of course, vegetables have more fiber and potassium… and foods like sardines and bone broth (lots of fat!) have more calcium… and we could get some Vitamin D from, you know, the sun… but we do certainly have to include those grains and dairy in our variety.
There are hundreds of fruits and vegetables, but we can’t let all that variety cover more than half our plates! where would the beans go? and the lean meats cooked in oxidized vegetable oils? Certainly, we must limit our vegetables to half our plate so we can make room for our whole grains and small portion of lean meat…
The article concludes by giving you resources to read more from the USDA (sorry, not linking to it!) and the hospital’s own website. You could even hire a dietitian to help you eat all that stuff in case you still can’t figure out that you are supposed to eat a lot of
hearthealthy whole grains.
I wonder when the USDA and the medical community are going to figure out that these recommendations won’t really help anyone be healthy. Of course, where do people go when they get sick? The hospital!
What a coincidence!
As for me? The MyPlate recommendations won’t be on my plate! But this might…
What do you think? Is this article just bad health advice or a brilliant marketing scheme?