So recently, old things that refuse to change have bothered me a lot. Gay marriage stuff. The crazy drug policies that were thought up 35 years ago, based on no science what so ever, and still persist to this day.
Along with the food pyramid. The old food pyramid became a reality in the 1992. In an effort to fight obesity rates and get people eating healthy it was though up by the department of agriculture. Why the department of agriculture? The people that make money when you buy food. Why not the department of health and human services? Or the FDA? Turns out the dept. of agriculture is pretty bad at making charts based off science and lack a background in health.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane. If you went to school in the 90’s you will remember being told how important the food pyramid was in grade school. We studied it, tried make meals plans and stuff. Obesity rates continued up. Cue a decade and some years later we get an updated version called myPyramid in 2005.
Guess what, it sucks also. Look at the picture and try to understand anything at all. It just lists random foods at the bottom and makes no sense, it’s entirely useless, unless you like rainbows to decorate your walls. Note the fat/oils section is microscopic on the chart. Dairy and veggies are the same.
That’s okay we got government money and government employees to keep busy. Here comes the next one. myPlate.gov was the next gift they gave to us in 2011. It’s nearly as meaningless as the first one. I’d argue even more so, because it lacks any way to compare the size of the different foods, suggests you always drink dairy with a meal (good job dairy lobby), and fat and oil is completely absent. It’s like they aren’t even foods.
People that actually study nutrition would never use the government guidelines. This stuff is not a high level science. In early 2000’s Harvard came up with a food pyramid. Hint: this one is actually good. Which begs the questions, why does a government backed with all our collective tax money suck at producing good nutrition information? Is it willful deceit, ignorance, incompetence, do they just not care? Here it is 12 years or so since the Harvard pyramid was published and we are probably still teaching this chooseMYplate garbage in schools. I know everyone’s diet is a personal choice. But we owe it to children and citizens who pay for this stuff, to at least educate them properly and allow them the chance to make informed decisions.
I’ve been experimenting a lot with what I put in my body over the past few months and let me tell you the pyramid above is much better. Exercise and portion control are keystones, and you never see them mentioned on any other chart. Portion control is the only thing that determines if you gain or lose weight. Then you see oils at the bottom of this chart, absent from the government charts, but essential on the Harvard one. I experimented with weight loss and cut my fat intake to 50g, the government recommendation is 65g. Instantly a loss in libido, lower energy, and hungry quickly after meals. Fat is great, it burns slow and keeps you full. It is essential for the creation of all hormones that regulate mood, growth, and sex. It helps ensure good joint health, and promotes healthy skin. Yet you see fat demonized by the media. You got low fat this, no fat that. Our bodies are designed to consume fat and turn it into energy. The thing to remember is portion control. I don’t advocate getting 50% of your calories from fat, but 30% is perfectly fine. Currently, I eat around 100g of fat a day, which is 900 of the 2900 calories I try to eat, and everything feels better.
The next thing is the war on sodium. They have low sodium everything now. It makes sense too, we have rocket high heart disease problems, hyper tensions and all sorts of other problems. Spawned mostly from lack of portion control. You have a sedentary guy eating 3500 calories a day, he is probably getting too much of everything: sodium, fat, calories, etc. When this becomes a chronic behavior and he becomes obese he also has all the side effects and ailments that come along with being overweight added on top of the too much fat/sodium effects.
My diet is pretty clean. I drink only water and milk, no sodas. I eat a lot of brown rice and chicken or tuna. But recently I had some muscle cramps and aches. Google it, turns out people that exercise should be getting more sodium to make up for what is lost in sweat. Check my food diary, almost no sodium. Started adding sea salt to a lot of things. Food is more delicious and no more cramps. But going by the conventional wisdom you hear on the news or learn in grade school, I would have never guessed that was the correct solution.
Keep in mind this doesn’t really apply to the obese guy at the line in McDonald’s. He has already failed at portion control, the most important thing that is absent from all of these government sponsored food pyramids. I kind of went off on a tangent about my eating and sodium and fat. The point I’m trying to get at is: the government is totally clueless when it comes to designing and publishing nutritional guidelines, and the money spent on these programs was a total waste of time, money, and people.