Body Blog: Peace Out (Food) Pyramid

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Remember the good ol’ food pyramid?

The one that was NOT Atkins friendly with grains at the bottom and sweets at the top? The one we were taught in school that said we need 9-11 servings of grains a day- which I took to heart when ordering soup in a sourdough bread bowl and an EXTRA SOUR DOUGH ROLL on the side thinking it was healthy? Until I developed some (fat) rolls of my own and realized that maybe this pyramid was as ancient as the actual pyramids in Egypt as far as health accuracy goes?

Well apparently me and my bread bowl rolls were on to something because, on Friday, the food pyramid peaced out and “My Plate” was introduced by the USDA. Instead of a pyramid, My Plate breaks up the food groups onto a plate, stressing that HALF your plate should consist of fruits and veggies and about a 1/4 protein. As for our beloved grains? The USDA is suggesting that only about a quarter of your plate is filled with grains (about 6 one ounce servings total for the day for women our age)- and they’re taking the time to point out that we should be consuming WHOLE grains.

So long sourdough bread bowls, it’s been real.

While we all know a lot of this information already, it’s nice to see the food guidelines reflecting healthful choices in an era when so many Americans are drastically overweight. ChooseMyPlate.gov is a totally revamped version of the Food Pyramid guidelines, even going to far as to explain your daily allotment of “empty calories” (a.k.a. cals that add no nutritional value) and outlining how “oils” are their own separate group. They help you take note of the different kinds of good/essential oils (think olive, coconut, walnuts, etc.) and suggest, for women between 19-30, 6 teaspoons as a healthy serving. The website is a huge step towards providing great information for all of us no matter where we are in our healthful eating journey!

Here are some other basic suggestions from the USDA’s My Plate site. Some of this may be familiar, but with bikini season, well…here…it can’t hurt to refresh! For more information check out www.ChooseMyPlate.gov and click around!

● Enjoy your food, but eat less.
● Avoid over-sized portions.
● Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
● Make at least half your grains whole grains.
● Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
● Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals ― and choose the foods with lower numbers.
● Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

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