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Skinny Without Willpower

Sunday, June 5, 2011


It’s no longer a pyramid! Yes, the new dietary guidelines that came out last week from USDA look more intuitive as they are arranged like a real plate. It’s called MyPlate! I consider it a big step forward for guiding people towards making healthy eating choices. The biggest difference between the old ‘pyramid’ and the new ‘plate’ is that while the old pyramid weighed heavily towards grains, making no distinction between whole and refined grains, the new plate places more importance on fruits and vegetables and recommends half the grain servings come from whole grains. It recommends filling half the plate with fruits and vegetables and the other half with grains and proteins. It recommends getting bulk of your protein from beans, nuts, soy products and lean cut meats and seafood. Instead of dessert it has a side serving of diary to meet the calcium requirements but it recommends that the diary be either non-fat or the low-fat kind. Calcium fortified soy milk is also considered part of the dairy group. 

So where did fat go? Although not obvious if you read into the food groups it does account for fat intake and further makes the distinction between vegetable oils and solid (saturated) fats. While it makes the recommendation to eat a certain amount of oils it lumps all solid fats and sugars into what it calls the ‘empty calories' group. This group, according to USDA, adds calories without any nutritional value.

So what’s my take on MyPlate? I think it’s a step in the right direction towards giving people healthier eating recommendations and should help curb the obesity epidemic to some extent. What I like best about MyPlate is the heavy bias on fruits and vegetables which I think is crucial to a healthy diet. And while they make a recommendation for eating more of healthy oils (poly-unsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats), what I don’t like about MyPlate is that there is no explicit recommendation on what percentage of the daily calorie requirement should come from fat. Moreover I don’t quite agree with lumping saturated fats like butter and coconut oil with simple sugars as empty calories.

1 comment:

  1. 3 Studies SHOW Why Coconut Oil Kills Waist Fat.

    This means that you actually kill fat by consuming coconut fat (including coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 researches from big medical journals are sure to turn the traditional nutrition world around!