After much debate, our government has revised the food pyramid. There were definite nutritional flaws in the old one and, unfortunately, the revised pyramid isn't much better.
Like the previous version, they have again put grains at the base. To make matters worse, they suggest that fifty percent of these grains should come from breads, pastas and breakfast cereals.
The new version mentions nothing about about the dangers of sugar. Even the so-called "healthy cereals" have about 38% sugar! They also fail to mention the dangers of drinking sodas and other high sugar drinks. Sodas cause your blood sugar to rise instantly, creating an undesirable insulin response.
The new food pyramid, just like the old one, will likely make you gain weight and even increase your chance of incurring a chronic disease. Part of the problem lies in their placement of the 50% carbohydrates at the base of the pyramid. They simply don't provide enough information about what is or is not a healthy carbohydrate.
Further, the information is geared for the healthy adult. If you suffer from a degenerative illness such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes the food pyramid is not for you.
The basis for creating an appropriate nutrition plan should involve rebalancing the natural proportions of the three macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates and fats. Here's an equation to remember:
HIGHER PROTEIN + LOWER CARBOHYDRATES + HEALTHY FATS + REGULAR EXERCISE = OPTIMAL HEALTH AND WEIGHT LOSS
The above formula will keep you healthier and at a desirable weight.
When choosing carbohydrates, the majority should come from fruits and vegetables not grains. Fruits and vegetables are full of healthy phytonutrients plus they contain lot's of fiber. Choose whole grains only after you have eaten the fruits and vegetables. Your carbohydrate consumption will naturally lower this way. You will avoid exposing your system to changes in insulin which is a fat storage hormone and affects the immune system.
You should increase your protein and eat a small serving with every meal. It is suggested you eat every 2-3 hours to keep insulin levels normal. Choose fish, lean meats, eggs, low fat dairy, beans and nuts. Protein also helps keep you satiated.
Fats have a bad name in nutrition and they shouldn't. They are a part of all cellular processes. One type, saturated fat, is found in animal products. If you are eating meats you should get plenty of saturated fats. The other is polyunsaturated fats. Here is where your choices can make a difference. First avoid corn oil and all hydrogenated oils. Choose unprocessed vegetable fats like avocados, nuts and olive oil. Most important are the omega 3's which come from cold water fish like salmon. If you're not a fish eater get a fish oil supplement. The omega 3's help reduce heart disease, boost the immune system, regulate blood sugar, promote weight loss, relieve depression and more.
AS you can see the new food pyramid hasn't changed much from the old one. Further, it is so general in it's layout, it leaves many questions unanswered.
If you want to get the most out of your nutritional plan you'll need to look further than the newest version of the food pyramid.
Dr. Lanny Schaffer is an Exercise Physiologist and the President of The International Fitness Academy. For more cutting edge nutritional and fitness information go to http://www.aerobic-exercise-coach.com