Mysteries of the Pyramid
Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - 04:01 PM
The USDA's food pyramid has confounded eaters since 1992, when it replaced the "four food groups". Can anyone really be expected to eat six to eleven servings of grains and starches a day? Where do Cheez Doodles® fit in? Eighty percent of Americans recognize it, but they have only gotten fatter in the past 12 years!
Today came the announcement that the government wants to seriously revise or even dump the pyramid. Our guest, Marion Nestle of NYU, called herself "the last remaining nutritionist in America who thinks there's anything good about it at all". Nestle warned that the food industry may seek to use the occasion to suggest that all food groups are equal.
as a Mexican, the pyramid is not useful for us, because we have the idea that the most important thing goes at the highest point of the pyramid. I think this is an interesting point for the next planning of the pyramid.
I would like to suggest that we change the food pyramid to the food circle, i.e., concentric circles. The outer circles should represent the less desirable foods, i.e., foods more likely to cause obesity. The visual impression would be of becoming fatter as you eat worse.
The new food pyramid has a date of 1992. Is that the latest? It does not distinguish between complex and simple carbs and between animal and vegetable fats. It has too few vegetables. Fruit is not juice and fruit should be eaten with meals. Refined carbs and potatoes are like sugar. Meals should be frequent, every 3 to 4 hours. Calories are important if a person is gaining or losing weight inappropirately, in spite of doing daily exercise.
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