Today’s post will be mostly informational.  Sorry, no rants (for the most part), but just some information to answer some questions taht have been asked over the last week or so.  Recently, the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) released an update of the Food Guide Pyramid.  The reason being that people were having issue interpreting what the new pyramid (www.mypyramid.gov) was all about.  So they came up with the plate (http://www.choosemyplate.gov/).  It’s purpose is to visually show what any meal is supposed to look like in relationship to what actually sits in front of you every day. 

 

So let’s start from the top and move around.  Basically the plate is divided into quarters: Grains, Protein, Vegetables and Fruits, with some Dairy on the side.  You can also click on any portion of the plate and it will take you to a page explaining what each category means and what types of foods would fill each requirement.  Now, the purpose is honorable, so that’s why we won’t rant too much, and the USDA is softening some of their views, which is good too.  They say that at least half of your grains should be whole grains.  Which you have to read labels to find.  If a whole grain (wheat, oat, bulgar, rye, etc.) is not one of the first couple of ingredients, move on.  It has increased the protein requirement up to about 25% of the general, which is also good, especially for those of us who are active, in order to keep up with tissue turnover and help build new muscles.  The only glaring issue that continually pops up with the USDA is the continual lack of any fat in the diet.  75% of the plate (grains, fruits and veggies) are very carb based, and therefore will quickly increase insulin levels and ultimately lead to less usage and more storage (as fat, of course).  They even recommend 1% or skim milk.  But we know, in reality, that the body requires the fat to buffer all the carbs in the diet, and if the diet is too deficient, people end up storing more fat and gaining more weight.  Like I said, the intention of the guidelines is better than in the past, but still needs tempering.  Go to the website, and personalize a program.  Check it out and see what you think, if nothing else.  But keep in mind some of my other discussions and musings.  Fats are prevalent in natural foods for a reason.  Our body needs them to function and the continual push toward more grain and carb-based food is helping make us fatter and fatter.  Moderation is always the key with everything.  Nothing is that bad for you (with few exceptions) and nothing is that good for you.  Moderate out and be healthy.

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