|The new food plate replaces the food pyramid.|
Food pyramids have been around for about 20 years and in that time they have come a long way. The first USDA food pyramid had a huge emphasis on eating carbs, any type of carb, and avoiding all fats no matter what type. The pyramids suggested protein intake has also changed over time but fruits and veggies have pretty much stayed the same. The latest “food pyramid” however has made the biggest change yet… it has evolved from a food pyramid into a food plate. I still like the idea of the food pyramid better then a plate, there is just something about it that makes it easy to understand. The new food plate does make some major changes though that a huge strides towards better health based on current health and nutritional research.
Check out the new food plate at: www.choosemyplate.gov/
|This new food pyramid is now old being it has been replaced a food plate. This food pyramid, though more complex than the new food plate, is still a very good guide to nutrition.|
First off, the new food plate breaks down the food groups differently than previous food pyramids. Old pyramids had fruits, veggies, grains, meat, and dairy food groups. With time and greater understanding however, pyramids became increasingly complex with increased numbers of food groups. The new plate sort of simplifies things again with fruit, veggies, dairy, grains, and the new protein group. There is a strong emphasis in this to eat whole grains, oils, and to limit protein intake. I think the research based simplification of the food groups is excellent. The new food plate is not as simple to use as the food pyramids though. With the old pyramids you could simply look at them and understand what to eat and how much. To understand the the new food plate you must examine the food groups and their explanation online.
New food plate food tracker: www.choosemyplate.gov/SuperTracker/myplan.aspx
I tested out their food tracker for the new plate to see how it works in real life and to see how I measure up. The results to me were rather interesting. I learned I ate too few grains, too many veggies, slightly too many fruits, too much oil, and slightly too much protein. Most everything else was fine. I have a few problems with this new plate. First off anyone or anything that suggests you can eat too many veggies has a screw loose. I can understand for people with weight problems why eating too many fruits might be bad due to sugar content, but I can’t believe eating too many fruits would be bad for someone with a healthy weight and moderate activity levels. Same with healthy oils. The new plate rightly distinguishes between healthy and unhealthy fats, solid fats being unhealthy and oils, or liquid fats, being healthy. As long as someone has a healthy weight and is moderately physically active, consuming too much oil should not be a problem, within moderation of course. Lastly, I have an issue with eating gluten being it irritates my digestive tract so it would be extremely difficult for someone like me to consume enough whole grains. To be honest, I was not especially enthused about the food tracker, especially since I eat a lot of baked sweet potatoes and the tracker doesn’t even list that as a food option for entry. Overall, I think the tracker is a very good idea and a great way for someone to learn how to eat healthy though. I am just not sure it will work for me. I would suggest it for anyone looking to track and change their diet.
There are a lot of good things to this new food plate and it is a positive step beyond the old food pyramids. There still are some problems with it however as I mentioned above. Even considering some of the negatives, anyone would do very well diet and health wise to follow what is said in this plate. Again, check out the website, specifically the food groups (http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/) section. There is tons of great dietary information on the site that can help just about anyone. So check it out and let me know what you think.
|This is the original food pyramid. While it has many similarities to the newer pyramid and food plate, it is nowhere near as healthy. The new ones make this one look ridiculous.|