T Nation

New Pyramid

The US government has changed their ‘Food Pyramid’ standards. Personally, I believe it is still flawed but it does link exercise to eating habits:

http://www.mypyramid.gov/

I saw a short story on my local news this morning about it. They had some nutritionist giving examples of what would be in each food category. The thing that got me was when they got to the lean protien. They had four examples:

  1. tuna (good choice, no brainer)
  2. a fat piece of pork (not in my diet)
  3. almonds (lean protien?)
  4. peanut butter (again not exactly what i would call lean)
    I know they are probably trying to get the heathy fats in but they should not be grouped w/ lean protein sources.

There are some things I like about the pyramid and some things I don’t.

I like that they emphasize physical activity, that some foods from a certain group are better than others (whole grains vs. processed grains, whole fruits vs. juices, etc.), and that servings are more specific (using ounces and cups as opposed to the vague “serving” term which most people don’t understand anyway).

But I am worried that the public might view this as information overload. Most would probably need to access the web site in order to get even a basic understanding of the new pyramid, and many still don’t even have computers! I agree that dumbing things down too much will lead to misinformation, but too much information can deter a lot of people.

I’ve never been fond of Nutrition Pyramid. I remember having it pounded into my skull through-out high school Health classes and even in some of my Nutrition classes in college. Now it seems a bit better that it is specified to training and more specific. Still, people just need to eat well balanced diet and exercise and they’ll be good.

The thing that is really sad is that if there is a plan to lower one of the recommended daily amounts, that major company for that group will “donate” money to stop it. I think it was a few years ago that Milk and/or Beef donated money so that they wouldn’t lower the recommended daily amount of milk/beef.