Choosing ‘My Plate’?

The new USDA “My Plate” guide has been on my mind since it was released.

I’m really not sure what to think about it. It’s very colorful — and much simpler than the old food pyramid (or the revamped one that came out a few years ago).

Health magazine gives it a low grade because it doesn’t tackle fats, oils and portion sizes.

I like the way it puts more emphasis on fruits and veggies. I myself could do away with the “grains” quarter — fill it with more veggies instead — and be just as content, but who am I to tell America to give up carbs? Just because it works for me doesn’t mean it works for everyone.

That reminds me of the last time the feds re-did the pyramid. At the time, I was in the throes of Atkins (for the first time). The Atkins website urged all us low-carb lovers to write to the USDA about how they should reconsider having grains at the base of the pyramid.

I did. I remember writing a very impassioned letter. It did no good. The new pyramid looked a lot like the old one, and still emphasized consumption of the carby crap that helped me get to 300 pounds.

The new My Plate icon might look completely different, but I’m not sure how different its message is. Health is unconvinced:

The average American eats between three and four times more oil, fat, and sugar than the USDA recommends, but those ingredients aren’t considered a food group and don’t even have a place on MyPlate.

Those omissions hide some serious problems in the American diet, and could make it hard for Americans to use the plate to make good food choices, says Christina Munsell, RD, a research assistant at Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, in New Haven, Conn.

Good point. The food pyramid definitely needed an overhaul, but I’m not sure this hits the mark, either. I guess time will tell if it has any effect on America’s obesity epidemic.

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4 responses to “Choosing ‘My Plate’?

  1. Hey Arlene! This looks like another ill-conceived propaganda campaign by the government to get us to support those bread basket farmers. I stopped eating all grains, beans, starch and most fruit a few months ago and I finally feel so much better. Not losing weight yet, but I hear it takes a while for one’s metabolism to heal after a lifetime of eating foods we are not designed to eat. Are you having luck losing weight this time on low-carb? Ate you counting calories as well? Would love to hear how you’re doing.
    Nola Cross

    • I’ve lost 9 pounds in the three weeks I’ve been weighing myself on the scale. I’m hoping I don’t lose so much that my GH awards ceremony dress is too big. 😉

      When I did Atkins the first time, I lost something like 9 pounds in the first week … but this time it’s slower going. That’s okay, because I know it works — I lost 110 pounds and reached my lowest adult weight (169). And, for me, it’s easier to stick to a low-carb plan without feeling deprived. The bread, pasta and potatoes? Don’t miss ’em. (You wouldn’t have gotten me to believe that in the days I was debating a return to low-carb eating, but now that I’ve been doing it for a few weeks, I couldn’t care less about those carby things.

  2. Geez, maybe I should look into this Atkins diet more…but right now I am still on weight-watchers and having trouble staying away from carbs.

  3. Pingback: Link love « Adventures in weight loss, cooking and life·

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