Wednesday, December 05, 2007
The Food Pyramid?
Is this outdated? Is this the model we are to use and educate people on when discussing what comprises a healthy diet and lifestyle? According to many of the students in my classes at San Jose State University they believe that part of what comprises a 'healthy' lifestyle is using the concept of the food pyramid to determine a healthy diet.
Aspects of this guide I am a fan of. However, I differ in my personal believe on the consumption of grains and of non-fat or low fat milk/dairy products.
My basic philosophical tenets are this:
*Eat as natural of food products as possible, that means no added hormones, no pesticides, no added ingredients to perserve shelf life or enhance taste.
*There is really no such thing as a bad fruit or veggie. These things have been around longer than all of us and before the advent of the food industry and grocery store. We have been living off these substances for many, many generations and therefore hard to argue that any type fruits and veggies should not be a part of healthy diet. Now, that being said some fruits are better in moderation due to the calories and possible effects on blood sugar but in general an apple a day or a cup of berries is not going to do you any harm.
*Similarly the same concepts with meats. Moderating and varying types of meats i.e. from lean beef, to chicken, to turkey, to fish, to buffalo, to ostrich, etc is a safe and healthy approach. Lean and clean and do not be afraid to spend a little more for higher quality. I have found when I eat higher quality foods I eat less (just travel abroad to europe and you will see what I mean). If possible find a local farmer or place to purchase your meat from, not Safeway.
*By local, think global. Local farmers markets, etc are a great place to purchase foods with high quality content and none of the shelf life, good tasting additives.
*Consume dairy in its natural state. the fats contained in dairy (when consumed in moderation) are excellent and essential. Again, these foods have been around forever and the human body is in many ways set up and designed to handle/process them (in moderation).
Generally speaking, if you follow a diet and eat for the purpose of utilizing food for its main purposes such as providing energy, cellular function, recovery, etc. then you will naturally lean towards eating what your body needs and in the correct portions. However, if you have 'no control' or concept and like to eat mindlessly and for the pure pleasure and taste of food then maybe something like the food pyramid applies. Although, I bet in a day you will be all over the map anyways and rarely if ever even meet these 'government standards of a healthy lifestyle'.
For me the answers are pretty plain and simple and I believe I can see the forest through the trees and get around all the hype and propaganda that exists. Afterall of the 50,000 plus diet books out there they all have one thing in common
Eat Less and Burn more, calories that is and you will lose weight and more likely be lean.
What are you thoughts?
As always this is just an opinion piece and one I believe is educated but in constant evolution although the principles remain well grounded in their foundation
To a good, long, healthy and peaceful life and with great respect and gratitude,