News: The U.S.A. Hacks the Food Pyramid Into a Plate the British Served Up Years Ago
The Food Pyramid is about to undergo its biggest change yet, and for many the symbol will not be missed. The familiar icon formerly used as a basis to teach a proper and balanced diet will cease to exist. The latest reports on the new visual model created to replace the Food Pyramid in the U.S. is called, MyPlate.
Over the last generation the USDA Food Pyramid has undergone several re-writes and do-overs in its layout and composition. Doctors, nutritionists, dietitians and scientists together were able to determine at best; the Food Pyramid was confusing.
The American Food Pyramid insisted that complex carbohydrates were the basis of what should fuel our energy. Nutritionists would argue that what we need from the complex carbohydrates is fiber and physiologically, protein is a significant requirement for cell-building and fuel (energy).
Informal and sporadic articles across the internet spread some hush-hush noting that carbohydrates were the very cause of the wave of obesity and diabetic problems; not helping with keeping healthy weight under control here in the United States. In fact, within the last two years, experts have been leaning towards promoting more high-protein and low carbohydrate-based nutrition, similar to the South Beach and Atkins diets. Studies would show overall weight loss and internal health on these diets was proving to be more effective and beneficial for long-term health than other diets and weight loss programs.
In other news, the low fat diets people have grown to believe are good for weight loss are actually causing weight gain in casual dieters over the long term. Low fat and reduced fat foods often have significantly higher carbohydrates than foods prepared and packaged without alteration. The new U.S. MyPlate now omits the word 'carbohydrate' to generalize the name of a base fuel source and urges consumers to eat more grain.
In late 2007, the British Nutrition Foundation launched their visual model of balanced nutrition called the Eatwell Plate. It is similar in appearance to a pie chart, dividing servings of different food groups into sections we would normally see as percentages of a whole.
The concept and design of the U.S. MyPlate are described to be similar to the Eatwell Plate in the UK. If you have a moment, the following video introducing the UK version and how it works is worthwhile to spend some time with and spread the news about. Detailed information about it can be found at food.gov.uk
It makes too much sense, doesn't it? We can look forward to finally being able to identify with a visual model that will appear to be more realistic to consumers. Hallelujah!
Does the MyPlate concept work for everybody? With or without the help of The Food Pyramid, the Eatwell Plate or MyPlate, choose a diet that matches your lifestyle. Models may be helpful but never fit everyone perfectly. Putting common sense to work will help you on your journey to keeping and maintaining great health. More about the new U.S. model replacing the Pyramid can be found at choosemyplate.gov
As a general rule of thumb, base your intake of nutrients and calories on your level of activity to keep weight and health managed.
- If you are sedentary, limiting your intake of carbohydrates and refined sugar is the way to go.
- If you have a tendency to over-eat, portion control and points programs such as Weight Watchers will help you become more accustomed to consuming a more balanced and healthy amount of food and support making it a habit.
- Only active lifestyles need even more protein, fiber and adjusted carbohydrates than what is listed as typical servings.