Turning the Food Pyramid Upside Down


Printed upon everything from cereal boxes to cans of soup, the Food Guide Pyramid is becoming about the most broadly recognized symbols in the United States. You may have seen it. Possibly you might have even taken a minute to check over the food items it endorses. Yet has it actually altered your eating habits?

If you are like the majority of Americans, the response appears to be a resounding no, based on a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The actual Food Guide Pyramid was created with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to make nutritional advice clear and understandable. It recommends that the foundation for a nutritious diet, the bottom of the pyramid, ought to incorporate food items made out of whole grain products, in addition to lots of vegetables and fruit. Sugary food items the ones high in saturated fats take up just the small tip of the pyramid, suggesting they need to have merely a very small share in a healthy diet plan.

Regrettably, once Ashima Kant, PhD, researcher from the department of family, nutrition, and exercise sciences, Queens College of the City University of New York, surveyed exactly what 15,611 Individuals had been consuming, she found that most of us have flipped the pyramid upside down. Typically, Kant discovered, Individuals are receiving a huge 27% of their every day calories from the sugary and fatty food items on the top of the pyramid. (The majority of nutrition experts believe that number preferably ought to be a lot more like 5% or perhaps 10 %.) 1 in 3 individuals, based on the survey, receives nearly 1 / 2 of his or her calories (45%) via these types of energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods, treats such as candy, sweet sodas, cookies, potato chips, cakes, and also ice cream.

Crowding out reasonable nutrition

Goodies such as these pack a great deal of calories and not really much more. And when your own plate is packed with foods belonging to the top of the pyramid, then chances are you will not likely have a lot of room for the healthful food items which form its base. Certainly, Kant discovered that individuals that filled up on this kind of high-calorie food items generally consumed one-third less of the suggested nutrient-rich food items compared to those who adopted the pyramid’s suggestions.

The end result: Junk food junkies are unsuccessful regarding fiber, which is recognized to help keep levels of cholesterol down, in addition to powerful antioxidants loaded in vegetables and fruit, which might provide some defense against cardiovascular disease, many forms of cancer, along with other chronic illnesses. The truth is, blood checks completed on the 15,611 individuals within the study demonstrated that individuals who had flipped the pyramid upside down tended to possess less than average levels of folate, vitamins B-12, E, C, and also A, in addition to beta-carotene and some other antioxidants.

This is not the only depressing news about the diet front. A small 1% to 3% of individuals in fact stick to the suggestions of the Food Guide Pyramid to the letter in any given day, based on a study by research workers from the National Institutes of Health, published in the Journal of Nutrition. The majority of us fall significantly short in portions of fruit as well as dark green vegetables. And also as for the whole grain food items which form the bottom of the pyramid, well, let us simply state the majority of us have a considerable ways to go.

Children are not doing much better. When scientists at the University of Alabama, in whose work came out in the British Journal of Nutrition, investigated exactly what 110 girls and boys had been consuming, they discovered that food items from the top of the pyramid made up almost fifty percent of their diets. Just 5% of the children examined consumed the suggested portions of fruit. And also only 9% achieved the suggestions regarding milk and low-fat dairy goods.

Sick and tired of diet advice?

The depressing report card arrives during a period when many individuals declare they’re exhausted by nutrition advice. Based on an opinion poll carried out by research workers from the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Seattle, 70% of individuals in America claim they do not want the government offering nutritional guidance. Along with 40% said they are fed up with being instructed what things to eat and what not you can eat.

You might say, that isn’t unexpected. With numerous well-publicized nutritional flip-flops lately, quite a few Americans have started to wonder if perhaps the experts don’t know what they are speaking about. In fact, the more negative individuals are towards nutrition advice, the study discovered, and the much more likely they’re going to disregard it all.

Fortunately, that is nevertheless a minority of individuals. The majority of are prepared to listen to exactly what nutrition experts have to say. The poll final results, released in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association in January, discovered that much more than 90% of Individuals think nutrition research might help them survive longer.

For their own part, nutrition experts are confident that the recommendations already within the Food Guide Pyramid can do precisely that. “We have recognized the fundamentals of a healthy diet plan for many, many years, and these fundamentals have not changed,” states Marion Nestle, PhD, among the countries top nutrition specialists and also the head of New York University’s food sciences program. “They are there on the actual pyramid.”

And today new data convincingly displays that pursuing the pyramid’s recommendations truly might help the majority of us live lengthier and much healthier lives. When Kant examined data from 42,254 females, she observed that people who adopted the recommendations had been 30% less likely to expire over a 6 year time period as compared to females that tended to switch the pyramid upside down. Danger of cancer, heart disease, heart stroke, and all sorts of additional causes of death had been all considerably lower in the healthy and balanced eaters, based on the results published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

There is a sad truth, obviously. Within an era where a great number of are going after anti-aging supplements and products of all types, nutrition experts point out they’ve already discovered a powerful magic formula for long life. It’s in front of them on the side panel of the breakfast cereal box.

Now all of the experts need to uncover is the mystery to getting far more Individuals to take it seriously.

http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=10207&catId=1The Flemish Institute for Healthy Living recently reinvented the traditional food pyramid to encourage Belgian citizens to consume more healthful foods. The new pyramid is inverted, with the top (and largest) sector dedicated to foods such as tofu …The Daily MealGenius Kitchen (blog) Belgian Food Pyramid Puts Vegan Foods on Top – VegNews