Out with the Pyramid, In with the Pie Chart

Remember that food pyramid they taught you in school? Since 1980, the U.S. government has issued new Dietary Guidelines for Americans every five years, off of which the food pyramid is based. In the 1980’s, when Carbs were King, you had grains and cereals at the bottom, but the pyramid has changed a lot with developing research over the past thirty years. In fact, the pyramid has disappeared in favor of a pie-chart. No, actual pie is nowhere on their chart.

The new Guidelines make an interesting read. They’re more individualized than ever before, with a brochure that includes headings like “Eat the right amount of calories for you” and “Be physically active your way.” As for the dietary suggestions themselves, you can sum them up with:

  • Eat less meat
  • Eat more seafood and beans
  • Stay away from sugar and added salt
  • Drink more water and less soda
  • Choose whole-grain cereals, breads, rice and pasta
  • Ensure fruits and vegetables take up half of your plate

However, the Guidelines still throw Coconut oil under the bus as a bad “solid fat” like palm kernel oil (ignoring recent studies on the many health benefits of coconut oil), and they treat all sugars – whether High Fructose Corn Syrup or Maple Syrup – as equally undesirable. The guidelines make no mention of artificial sweeteners, or alternative sweeteners like stevia or agave nectar, which is a shame.

Just for fun, here’s my idea of a food pyramid – Intelligent Gourmet Style!

Vegetables First Food Pyramid

What is your idea of a healthy plate, pie chart, or pyramid?

 

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