Thursday, August 16, 2012

Food Guides and Pyramids

I wish we could get our facts straight. Facts that aren't influenced by people selling books, marketing machines, or even entire industries based on selling something to us.  I've been reading so many conflicting articles and books designed to help me. But they cannot all be right. What's a mere mortal to do?

So after years of the referring to the "regular" Food Pyramid - I am sure that's not right. Heck, even while my kids were competing on a Nutrition Quiz Bowl team, the pieces of that pyramid were shifting.
We're all familiar with what we started with...

It's interesting that even back with this pyramid as The Rule, we were to eat more fruits and vegetables than meat. Yet, we always referred to the Main Course as the Meat dish. And, we'd have bread as a side item - not as the main piece of the meal, as this pyramid would imply. Still, one has to wonder why we were being encouraged to eat so much bread and grains. 

Then in 2005, MyPyramid was adopted. I think the little stickman was supposed to encourage us to get exercising. In this shift, the dairy component seemed to grow a lot. Breads and grains stayed strong though.
A lot of people began to wonder how much the agricultural industry's lobbyists were influencing these pyramids. And frankly, at this point, I stopped being interested in it. They (the FDA, the Powers That Be) simply lost their hold. The unfortunate part for me is that it was kind of nice to be able TRUST someone out there. But, just like most things, you have to explore it for yourself.

The latest quasi-pyramid that I've seen lately is this:
If you can't read this, you can download it for free as a pdf at

It gives quite a bit of (albeit simplified) information. Still, I much prefer to see diet being talked about on a continuum of health, instead of servings and portions. Maybe if we understand the why a little better, we'll be able to make more healthy choices!

And... lest you think that only serious official people use the concept of pyramids to show how people should or are eating, check out these two:

Denny's suggestions

Zombies-Go-Rawr were taking a stab at Deviant Art

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