Tuesday, July 26, 2011

From Pyramid To Plate

Was chatting with a friend and we were on the topic of diabetes, how prevalent it is now. This friend lost 3 kgs in 1 month just by cutting down on fruits, her favorite food. I was most excited to hear that because I've always suspected fruits to be the culprit for diabetes along with carbs. Most of us think that fruits are okay because they are not processed and the sugar is natural. The bad news is sugar is still sugar. My hub used to eat water melons by the half fruit, a few oranges in one go, that sort of excessiveness. Now the new health advice (I think I read it in a recent issue of Reader's Digest) is to go easy on the fruits too, especially for people who are overweight or pre-and diabetic.

My friend's doctor told her that the Food Plate has now replaced the traditional Food Pyramid. The USDA's My Plate's biggest difference, from what I see, is the decreased portion of carbohydrates. Carbs make up over 1/4 of the plate only and are to be wholegrains instead of refined white rice or bread. Dairy is now optional or just an occasional treat and should be low-fat. Fruits still figure quite a bit but I think if you are Asian (more prone to diabetes) or overweight, veggies should be nearly half the plate, reducing the fruits. The other change I'm trying to make is the kind of fruits to consume. Look up the sugar content of fruits and you'll be shocked that there's so much sugar in some of them.

The new food plate makes so much sense. It is easier to remember too and visualise, because you can actually serve your meals literally to the recommended portions on the plate.

The USDA's recommendations as of June 2011:


Balancing Calories
● Enjoy your food, but eat less.
● Avoid oversized portions.

Foods to Increase
● Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
● Make at least half your grains whole grains.
● Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.

Foods to Reduce
● Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals ― and choose the foods with lower numbers.
● Drink water instead of sugary drinks. PDF


arna11420 said...
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arna11420 said...
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arna11420 said...

Dairy is not a basic food group. American dairy industry has lobbyists that make the government put the dairy in the food pyramid/plate. People eating meat have no use for it. Flavored milk with more sugar than soda, and processed cheese that is extremely high in fat should be avoided, and never given to children. Children eating leafy green vegetables regularly don't even need milk.


[sorry for the deleted posts, something's wrong with Google today]

The Real Mother Hen said...

I love reading your blog and admire all the great dishes you make. If I ever make it to KK again I will want to eat with you :) However, I disagree with this. I live in America and I don't trust the Food Plate at all. Arna is right, it's all the grand job of industry lobbyists.

Americans do NOT eat that much fruit and yet 1 in 4 adults has diabetes, and the number is increasingly. Soft drinks, processed food, even stuff like low-fat milk is more harmful than fruits.

I drink full-fat milk (no way I will touch any low fat stuff, once you remove fat from the dairy, you remove the goodness and are left with blueish/ yellowish liquid; so to make it "white" again, tons of TiO2 are added, even for the organic ones. Hardly anyone knows because it is considered as manufacturer's aide and doesn't appear in the label), I eat carb and Americans say it's bad, like rice. I eat noodles (homemade noodles with just eggs and flour). And yes I eat many serving of fruits. Yet I am very lean, fit and healthy. The truth is simple - calories in, and calories out. It is a total BS to say that one needs so much calories a day. The standard is defined by food manufacturers. If one sits in the office the whole day, doesn't cycle to work and back, doesn't do manual work, the body just can't process that much after all.

For sugar, it is scientifically proven that not all sugars are created equal. Fruits are ok. But do skip everything that says High Fructose Corn Syrup.

The Real Mother Hen said...

PS: meat is always considered to be "needed" not because it is good for you, but because of lawsuits from the meat producers and the whole industry that goes with it. Like a movement here in the US called the meatless Monday - well if I am not wrong, they won't be able to roll this idea out to schools because of the lawsuit threats by the meat industry. Chickens and cows are fed with genetically modified corns and antibiotics. There isn't any good about that. But the corn industry, meat industry, pharmaceutical industry, giant grocery chains, everyone has a stake in this, and they all want us to eat, and eat.

terri@adailyobsession said...
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terri@adailyobsession said...
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Unknown said...

Very thought provoking subject and very interesting comments here. Anyway, I do have this conspiracy theory on milk formula for kids I.e. all those DHA,ADHA+ and what nots... I simply don't believe it has wholesome goodness in them. If possible I would like my wife to
nurse our kids with breast milk only but alas, I heard it is very very tough bordering impossible :(

Blur Ting said...

Oh no wonder I've been putting on weight just by gobbling down kilos of lychee!

terri@adailyobsession said...

milosh& realmotherhen: i tend to agree with milosh on his comment about milk. but then again, i fed my kids a lot of miilk and i still use dairy products. it's hard to change diet habits n the ingrained idea tt milk is good for us ("wear a moustache" campaign). my mom and all the ladies in her generation and even the young adults in china now never drank milk or eat dairy products. many chinese vomit at the smell of cheese bc they never ate cheese b4:D eating cheese is like eating durians to them. my point is, i'm beginning to think too tt milk is not necessary for humans. the china chinese didn't eat cheese n dairy products and lived long healthy lives.on the other hand, look at the incidence of breast cancer in milk-drinking countries. by tt i mean ppl who drink milk everyday, as part of their diet.if i could do it again, i would feed less milk to my daughter n sub with other calcium alternatives.

the USDA is highly suspect, unfortunately. i used to hold them in high regard until i started reading about them. one book (controversial, i don't agree with all its points) is 'skinny bitch' n i was just shocked tt a country like the us, where free speech n justice are the hallmarks and example to the whole world, can have a department (n one that's very important) tt makes recommendations and laws/rules tt favor mega food companies bc many of USDA big guns who have retired sit on the boards of these companies! i just can't understand how the americans can let that go on. so yes, mother hen,i see where you are coming from on the point about antibiotics and growth hormones n all tt:( i used to buy american beef bc i thot they'll be the safest. now i just don't know what to buy!

but i still think the food plate is better than the pyramid, based on my observances. my parents lived on a high carb diet, and some other ppl close to me too and they are all diabetics by the time they hit their 70s. of course, if you exercise n keep your weight down, you can be lean mean n healthy. good on you for being that! but most of us when we hit our middle n late years will pack on the extra weight n health problems will come if we continue on a high carb, high fat high sugar diet. as for fruits being not as healthy for us as previously thought, i think it makes sense. sugar is sugar, whether it's glucose of fructose?

the fact that the americans are increasing turning into seals and walruses (fat & sluggish) bc of their diet of sugared drinks, high dairy products, large portions, high protein n carbs is the reason why the USDA deemed the food pyramid unfit. i def think tt the food plate makes more sense n will make ppl healthier. the hard part is changing our eating habits.

July 27, 2011 8:59 AM

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