Monday, October 18, 2010

The Food Pyramid and Fat Loss - Don't Follow It

I remember when I was a little kid in grade school and was being taught how to eat by the nutrition teacher. She was going over the food pyramid and saying if we ate that way, that we would be healthy. Now, as I am older and have a degree in exercise science I realize that was complete crap. If you take a look at the food pyramid, first thing that comes to mind that it is extremely out dated.

Back in the day, the government did not know that much about healthy eating. We knew what foods were healthy, but not to the extent that we know today. For example, look at the bottom.

There it says we need to get at least 6 to 11 servings of whole grains a day and the pictures they have listed are breads, pastas, and cereal. Are you kidding me? Between 50 to 60% of the people in this country have intolerance to wheat products Reason being was because our bodies never developed and evolved on wheat based diet. We only started eating wheat when began to domesticate ourselves. Also, the thing is that we have an obesity problem because we as a society eat too many carbohydrates all the time. Think about it, you have a bagel for breakfast, maybe a doughnut or a big bowl of cereal.

Then for lunch you have sandwich usually with a bag of chips. Throughout the day you might have snacks such as cookies, cakes, or chips and then when you come home you have a big dinner consisting of bread, pasta, potatoes, and top it off with dessert. According to the food pyramid, that is almost a good day.

The next two groups up are fruits and vegetables. Are you really serious telling me I only need 2 servings a day of veggies and at least 3 servings a day of fruit? Fruit and vegetables are known to have tons of anti cancer fighting properties, why only eat a small amount of servings?

Then we have protein and dairy. Again, for a lot of people dairy can be intolerable. However, not as many as eating wheat. This is something that in my eyes they got right, somewhat, but I have seen great progress in my clients when I tell them to stop having dairy. Gastrointestinal distress goes away, as does bloating and usually diarrhea. With regards to the protein group, if you regularly exercising, you just need more protein, plain and simple.

And my last beef is with the fats and oil group. Basically they are telling you that fish oil, olive oil, coconut oil, etc are bad for us. Let's face it; we need fat in our diet. Our bodies evolved from eating fat and protein; especially high amounts of it. These oils have been found to increase one's health tenfold.

All in all, if you are trying to lose weight, don't follow the nutritional guidelines from the food pyramid. It drastically needs to be updated; I just hope it happens sooner than later.

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