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Friday, June 3, 2011

MyPlate - not on MY plate!

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"MyPlate" was just released to replace the food guide pyramid.  The idea is to make the USDA's nutritional guidelines more clear and easy to understand.  You can view the guidelines at  I do like some of the new advice, but some of the other advice is a little fishy.

What I Like:
The left side of the plate!  This is the first piece of nutritional advice I give to anybody looking for advice;  "EAT FRUITS AND VEGETABLES!"  Have you ever seen an obese or unhealthy person say "I eat way too many fruits and vegetables"?  I would like to see it be an even larger portion of the plate, but I can't complain too much.  At least fruits and vegetables are a larger portion than in the old pyramid.

What I Don't Like: 
Dairy at every meal.  I've discussed (told you why it's not so good) my thoughts on dairy in a previous post.  The USDA's guidelines make it seem like consuming dairy is the only way to get calcium in your diet.  Note to the USDA: There are other food out there with calcium!

The recommendations for people with lactose intolerance are to consume smaller portions of dairy or consume lactose reduced milk, cheese and yogurt.  Or to consume calcium fortified soy milk.  How about just eating other foods with calcium and not eating dairy... problem solved!

Still pushing grains on us.  I believe ALL carbohydrate intake should come from fruits and vegetables and grains are simply empty calories.  IF you are going to consume grains, they should ALWAYS be whole grains.  The USDA is recommending "make at least half your grains whole grains".  So if my math is right, they are telling me 1/8 of my total caloric intake should be from refined grains?  I don't like that recommendation.  I'd rather eat more fruits and vegetables.

Where's the fat?  "Choose lean or low-fat meat and poultry".  They make do differentiation between grass fed, or free range, meats and factory raised meats.  No mention of the higher level of Omega-3's in grass fed and free range meats.  No mention of higher vitamin levels in grass fed and free range meats.  For more info click here.  The average consumer is going to look at "MyPlate" and think they should consume as little fat as possible.  They are going to be lacking essential nutrients and will be unable to absorb essential fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K).

They seem to be pushing soy quite a bit, and seem to be really scared of sodium!  I see nothing wrong with watching your sodium intake.  Especially salts such as sodium nitrate and monosodium glutamate (cancer causing).  Nor do I have much of an issue with soy.  At least all natural, organic soy.  The issue here is their lack of concern of genetically modified foods, fertilizers and pesticides.

Go to the 2:15 point of the video.

mmmm... "Round Up ready soybeans"... Sounds tasty!  Efficient?  Heck yeah, but at what cost?  The USDA is pushing a genetically modified, Round Up covered food on us.  Is this the healthiest recommendation?


It might not be perfect but it is in the right direction. Hopefully they dont wait 10 years to make more changes.
I wonder what countries like Australia and others with low obesity rates have that guides them or rules for food.

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