Food Pyramid Still Relevant?

If you grew up knowing just what to eat based on the food pyramid, you might have some rethinking to do. While the old food pyramid is out of the door, the new one created by the USDA is far more relevant in light of what is known today. There’s no longer the base of grains with a smaller section divided into fruits and vegetables and an even smaller section divided between milk and protein sources, ending in the tiny top containing healthy fat, oils and sugar treats. That’s no longer considered healthy eating.

The new food pyramid still may not be accurate, although it’s far more flexible than the old.

The old food pyramid simply looks different and doesn’t allow for flexibility, but that doesn’t mean either is right. In fact, some people say the food pyramid may be one of the reasons there’s such an epidemic of obesity. For instance, after the emphasis on the food pyramid and keeping fat lower, there was a huge increase in low fat products, which we now know actually causes people to gain weight. Think about it. It’s highly processed and a healthy diet means a diet that’s far less process.

Should grain be your primary source of calories?

There’s always lobbying groups or special interest groups that affect all the information we get on good health. Those lobbying for grain producers actually affected the amount of cereal and grain products found in the food group. Long ago, a group of Harvard scientists were paid to link fat to heart disease, by the sugar industry, which is why fat of all types is still considered unhealthy by many. Even the type of grain encouraged came from refined highly processed grain products.

The MyPlate model is better, but still not perfect.

My plate emphasizes the types of carbs that are healthier, with fruits and vegetables taking up half the plate, starches and carbs one fourth the area and lean protein the last fourth. There’s also a side of milk products shown. Check the entire MyPlate graphic and you won’t find any healthy fat! A better option is the Harvard Healthy Eating Plate. It not only shows the division of food and includes all types of food, it identifies the healthy ones to eat. Consider how many unhealthy choices you can make when picking protein, such as hot dogs or processed meat. Look at the difference in options between refined flour products and whole grain. The Healthy Eating Plate directs you to the healthy options.

  • The MyPlate model and the food pyramid emphasize drinking milk and dairy. It’s been found to be far less healthy than once thought.
  • The food pyramid includes starchy vegetables like potatoes, with green or other healthy vegetables. A plate of potatoes does not provide all the nutrients you need, even if they do contain chives.
  • There should be more focus on healthy fat like Omega-3 fatty acids, rather than reducing the amount of fat in the diet. Your body needs fat and it helps to keep you feeling full, so you eat less.
  • Learning to eat healthier is the best way to achieve a healthy weight and good health. There are too many things that the MyPlate model or Food Pyramid don’t address or leave to potentially unhealthy discretion.

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