The new USDA "my plate" is replacing the food pyramid

For the first time in years (or so it seems) the government is moving towards a more accurate representation of what Americans’ dinner plates should look like! The increase in vegetables over grains is the most apparent beneficial change. However, www.choosemyplate.gov, still has a way to go before it is no longer representing the marketing ploys of big dairy and food processors in the U.S.

Under “Foods to Increase” the USDA states, “Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.”  This goes against research that shows that it is important to have fats in the diet! Good fats are what makes our hearts, brains, and bodies healthy! Remember, fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar does!

Dr. Mercola’s article addressing the lack of animal fat represented in this new nutritional guideline says:

[Animal fats] act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Dietary fats are also needed for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption, and for a host of other biological processes. To get these healthy saturated fats in your diet, you need to eat animal foods like butter and other full-fat raw dairy products and eggs, but these foods are still demonized by the establishment.

So, when you have unprocessed products, everything is there! Raw milk doesn’t need to be fortified like most pasteurized store brands because it’s already in there!

“My Plate” also says, “Make at least half your grains whole grains.” If every single chef, personal trainer, and mom out there is telling us, “Don’t eat processed food (i.e. junk food),” so why is the USDA telling us it’s okay? Why isn’t the entire serving of grains supposed to be whole grains? A mention of sprouted grains would be even better! Someone once told me their trainer said, “If God made it, it’s okay to eat. If man changed it, we need to look into it first.” The same should always go for your grains!

Another fact to be wary of is the amount of sugar found in fruits. Fruits are wonderful, especially raw. They are delicious, most have high water content, live active enzymes when raw, and antioxidants to boot, but they are also mother nature’s candy. Fruits have lots of fructose! Naturally sweetened, yes, but they are still high in fructose which is one of the leading causes of obesity, cancer and other diet related epidemics in the U.S. So, if fruit is the only source of fructose you’re consuming, great! But if you like your daily Frappuccino, try making them a rare treat (check out the sugar on the nutritional info! Yowza!) and make sure you’re replacing those fruits with veggies!

That being said, please, please, please buy local, organic produce! When veggies and fruits are increased in your diet, so is the potential threat to increase your pesticide consumption!  Almost everywhere has a farmer’s market near by during the warmer seasons. These are a great place to try new things, meet new people, and that is part of what makes the food taste so darn yummy! When you eat out, you don’t always have the option to eat organic, but if you do your research you can find awesome restaurants that do support the Slow Food movement and offer delicious creations! Local is also important since buying produce from half a world away requires fossil fuel to get it to your local supermarket. It’s all about decreasing your eco-footprint!

Eat consciously, eat healthy, eat happily, eat wholesomely!