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USDA replaces Food Pyramid with new "MyPlate" guidelines

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

it's a bit better than the pyramid, but that's not saying much. it still needs a lot of improvement.

my thoughts:
- there's no mention of healthful fats.
- they should specify that the majority of your vegetables should be of the *non-starchy* or fibrous variety because this country is on potato & corn overload.
- there's nothing about portion or plate sizes.
- i'd like to see the "grains" portion even smaller.
- i'm also on the fence about the way it sends the "eat fruit with every meal" message, particularly because i *know* that will translate to sugary applesauce or fruit juice for a lot of people.

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  1. There is a lot more information there, but it's more aimed at industry. I'm sure The NRA (no not that one) will put out a new nutrition guide for chefs in their ManageFirst program.

    There is a lot more here: http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelin...

    1. If we scrapped the whole government mandated healthy eating thing, I'd bet we'd be able to shave off at least 20% from the federal budget ...

      12 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        You're being facetious, right? Since the entire budget of the FDA and USDA combined is about 4% of the total federal budget, and that would cover a whole lot more than healthy eating programs.

        1. re: MelMM

          On Tuesday, the GOP majority on the House Appropriations Committee approved a 2012 spending plan that directs the Agriculture Department to ditch the first new nutritional standards in 15 years proposed for school breakfasts and lunches. The lawmakers say meals containing more fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy will cost an additional $7 billion over five years — money they say the country can ill afford in difficult economic times.

          The cost of more nutritious lunches for millions of school children over 5 years = the cost of 12 days in iraq.

          1. re: Rmis32

            Woulda been nice if they weighed what healthcare costs due to nutritional problems cost this country. Saving money and spending cuts are not always the same thing.

            1. re: cowboyardee

              Thanks again for watching that video cowboyardee. I'm grateful to you for that and your comments, which I'm so glad I emailed to myself so that I can read them over again some other time. It's easy for me to feel frustrated at times as I stumble around and keep dropping my flashlight.

              1. re: givemecarbs

                I'm glad you posted here. The mods removed the other little tangent before I had a chance to write it down. What was the name of the full length documentary you recommended?

                1. re: cowboyardee

                  Healing Cancer From Inside Out Mike Anderson
                  http://www.amazon.com/Healing-Cancer-...
                  Also Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days
                  http://simplyraw.bravenewtheaters.com/

                  1. re: givemecarbs

                    Thanks. Healing Cancer... added to netflix queue. Try to stop me now, mods ;p

              2. re: cowboyardee

                Penny-wise and pound (LITERALLY) foolish.

                Somewhere along the line a few years ago, I came across a simpler diagram that seems wise: Imagine a round plate divided into three parallel sections by splitting the diameter in thirds. So a 9" diameter plate would have 3 imaginary stripes. The center one, the largest in volume, should be colorful, low-starch vegetables. The stripe to one side would be starch and the one to the other side, meat/poultry/seafood/dairy/fat. Obviously, you might have some of that in the form of gravy/sauce on the starch section, and other variations, but overall it provides an easy way to visualize what the proportions on the plate should be.

          2. re: ipsedixit

            yeah - those damned healthy kids are a real drain on the national economy. too bad it's a security issue, we need healthy meat to ship off to afghanistan and iraq, to protect our freedoms. which is in no way a drain on our resources........

            1. re: thew

              ita, thew. the military supports cutting junk food from schools because there IS a real problem in getting healthy recruits. however if the other special interests can override even the military then the next solution would be to have longer training camps to get people in shape before basic training. pretty sad that we are so fat we can't even "protect" ourselves.

            2. Very good points here. I don't think you can deny that fats need to be included. I too thought the grains portion was HUGE at first glance. I agree that people don't understand what is the best idea for fruit and veg. In Central PA potato is your main veg. with corn right behind. Everything is laden with sugar and fat if it was remotely healthy.

              8 Replies
              1. re: melpy

                my niece just told me today that she intends on Kraft Easy Mac as her primary food source when she goes to college because it's cheap and it tastes good. She said that if she has the money, she'll get the Velveeta mac and cheese that has bits of broccoli in it, because then it has a vegetable.

                I wept.

                1. re: sunshine842

                  Sounds like you have your work cut out for you. Good luck with giving her the education she's apparently not getting at home.

                  1. re: Leepa

                    but that's what stumps me -- her mom (my sister) has lost a significant amount of weight, has arms of steel, and looks better than she's looked her entire adult life (she's never looked bad -- but she looks awesome now!). I *know* that has not come about by eating convenience-food crap....and actually KNOW that she's really changed her lifestyle habits (not just food!)....now to somehow find a way to let her know that Miss Thing hasn't been paying attention AND to see if I can't teach her a better way.

                    The point of this being, by the way -- that SOMEBODY needs to take the reins and teach this generation how to eat, because WE are going to outlive THEM at the rate they're going. Whether it's My Plate or a Pyramid or a spherical tetrahedron...we are failing to teach our children how to eat well.

                    We MUST stop obsessing over carbs and fat and calories and bacon and Dukan and South Beach and all the other b.s. that does nothing but line the pockets of Today's Greatest Diet Author.

                    I keep going back and re-reading Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food": Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants. I don't lockstep agree with all of the book -- but it's the sanest, simplest advice I've seen.

                    Why is this so difficult?

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      I don't know your niece, but my immediate reaction is that sounds like something most teenagers would say to either get a rise out of someone, or just because it's fun to exaggerate (my friends and I once wrote a logical proof for oreos counting as vegetables, including the step that Nabisco was owned by Phillip Morris, who grew tobacco, which is a plant).

                      Given your sisters relatively recent adoption of health eating practices, it's possible that your niece's grand plan is based on the freedom she's expecting to have at college and looking forward to. I ate a TON of lucky charms when I first got to college, and most college students go through similar phases, hence the Freshmen 15. The magic will wear off in a few weeks, and she move on to better food.

                      1. re: mpjmph

                        I agree. Even though I'm in my 50's, I remember being a rebellious teen on my way to college. Wouldn't listen to anyone...

                        It sounds as if sunshine's niece has been exposed to a good foundation of nutrition (good to hear) and will probably see the light after a few weeks of freedom.

                        1. re: Leepa

                          gave her my copy of Fast Food Nation, too. That'll fix her!

                        2. re: mpjmph

                          I wish I could post a fabulous update that she was yanking my chain, but the sad truth is that she wants to eat nothing but chips, fries, hamburger, pizza, and candy (candy first, please). A balanced diet is a stack of Pringles that doesn't fall over.

                          It's driving me completely insane...but WE don't eat that way, we don't let OUR offspring eat that way, and SHE is not going to eat that way as long as she's in our house, so I see more battles ahead.

                          (and I love her to death...and I wish there was some way to keep her from the Freshman 15, because she's already got at least that and she's only a senior....)

                2. Without commenting on the merits of the chart, I've often wondered if people actually look to the government to tell them how to eat. Seems to me the people who really are concerned with nutrition information seek it out from other sources, and most other people just eat what they like or what they can afford.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: inaplasticcup

                    Ding.

                    I can't figure why they even bother with a chart or why anyone would get worked up about the thing. We know. It's just that many choose not to follow what's more or less common knowledge.

                    Really, who's the chart for? Kids? Little Jack and Jill aren't buying their own food. Adults? We already know. Aliens who just landed on Earth and are curious about our government and diet? Maybe.

                    1. re: ediblover

                      ALIENS. I think you've uncovered the caper...

                  2. Folks, we've removed a number of posts from this thread. If you want to argue about red states vs. blue states or military spending, please do so on another site -- it's off-topic for Chowhound. Thanks.