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The "old school" Food Pyramid VS Atkins Diet Food Pyramid

Monday, January 20, 2014

You probably remember this from elementary school. It seemed the gov't & scientists wanted you to eat at least 2-4 items from the grain group at every meal. They told you that all that grain was needed for energy. For your brain & nervous system to work properly you need carbs, and the gov't was sure that the way to do that was to eat lots of grains.

Now as I have mentioned before, diabetes runs wild in my family. The docs even had me checking my blood sugar for a few months while I was pregnant a couple times. As I grew up I have heard relatives mention how they had to watch their carbs along with their sugar intake. So #1 carbs are good for energy, but #2 carbs are bad for diabetics....course at that time I was only counting pasta, rice, potato, & breads as carbs, everything else belonged in a different group.
At this time I had also bought a book by: Elizabeth Hasselbeck (from the show..The View) written about her problems with celiac & gluten. I was hoping to heal some stomache & bathroom problems of my own.

Over the years I had heard of low-carb diets. Atkins...well that was just the diet to eat meat & cheese all day. LOL The Zone Diet, was something strange rich celebraties went on when they had to lose weight for a movie.
While working in a cafeteria at the Grand Canyon, we had alot of tourists coming in who were on gluen-free diets. I didn't know alot about celiac or gluten allergies but I did notice that the kids were calmer, quieter, had more patience and made less mess in the dining room. Now I still don't know if eating to much gluten makes you hyper or angry but it was a pretty neat coincidence.

Now I am reseaching more into the LC diets, and finding some interesting stuff that really makes sense to me.

yes protein is very important in the Atkins diet, enough so that it takes up the most space. But it doesn't mean that I have to eat fatty bacon, sausage, hot dogs or cheese all day either. The grains group is the least important so it takes up a small space at the top. Now if you are still associating grains as carbs, just know that you can still get carbs by eating veggies, fruits, yogurt and alot more stuff. Years ago when I gave up drinking milk, I told people I needed calcium not COW-cium, and I could get calcium in other places besides a cow. Well I just have to tell myself that even though I need a little bit of carbs it doesn't mean I need to run to a wheat field.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Gluten free is good for pain control for some people, and doesn't work for others. A lot of grains isn't good for anyone. I know my FIL lost a lot of weight when he started watching his carbs to control his diabetes.
    1488 days ago
    I remember 35 years ago when Atkins meant eating crab legs with all the butter I wanted, steaks, bacon, etc. I lost but couldn't use the "ahem" facilities. I'm glad to hear it's a more moderate program now.
    1489 days ago
    Eating low carb does not mean no carb, but making better decisions. Knowledge is power and thank you for sharing some knowledge!
    1489 days ago
  • CHERIJ16
    I have Type 2 diabetes as well so I follow the guidelines set for me by my dietician. I try to use whole grain products or healthy fruits and veggies when counting my carbs. I also try to eat whole foods vs processed foods. I take Metformin but my doctor says I can get off if I keep all my blood sugars under control and maintain my weight loss for 6 months.
    Thanks for the information. emoticon
    1489 days ago
    Amen CANYON_GAL! The USDA isn't about providing healthy guidelines to us. They're focused on the food industry, and promoting food economics. The general public has yet to understand this. They're not likely to become informed on it, because naturally the "powers" aren't going to let us know it.

    The book WOUBBIE mentioned is great. I have a couple others which astounded and angered me, too. If you are so unwise as to quote them, you're marked for heresy and all your valid references are attacked. People don't WANT to know. I'm incensed.

    The Atkins pyramid listed here isn't accurate, from my POV. Most Atkins, and restricted or low carb plans in general, are heavy on veggies. Actually, the protein portion is about what the SAD diet recommends. Moderate, but whole and healthy proteins. For Atkins, there is a much higher percentage of healthy fats - and this seems to cross-correlate with many LC plans, and with whole-food, Primal, and Paleo lifestyles. Perhaps not quite so much those last two - and they do rely more on proteins, I believe. But in any case, none of them rely greatly on carbs - grains, legumes, sugars, and of course, NOTHING processed if it can be avoided!

    The good scientific data we're getting now is showing the metabolic dangers of sugars and most carbs - but I still see too many people, even "experts", repeating the old dogma that you "need" carbs (I don't mean the good stuff from veggies). They'll warn you how "dangerous" a low-carb diet is. So, if that's true... how are so many improving their health, getting off meds, losing weight seemingly effortlessly... Compare that to the millions who are trying so hard to do these things with the officially accepted method, and failing, and blaming themselves... and it's NOT THEIR FAULT! It's the method, and the foods, and the misguided directives we still are getting.

    I hope others will see this, and have the courage to take it to heart - or at least to look into it objectively without all the hype and mythinformation surrounding it. It's their health! Clinging to an opinion falls far down the list of important things with that perspective.

    Thank you for a great blog.
    1489 days ago
    1489 days ago
    Love this post, thank you for sharing!
    1489 days ago
    A wonderful new book on the subject is this one:

    It's partly a history of food guidelines over the years, and partly a science book about what really constitutes a healthy diet.
    1489 days ago
    Here we are again, poised to be served up another helping of Dietary Guidelines in 2005 and a possible replacement for the failed Food Pyramid. This time, can we expect something less compromised and more reflective of what Americans need to achieve good health?I think not.

    Ultimately, the food industry dictates the government’s food advice, shaping the nutrition agenda delivered to the public. In fact, to the food industry, the purpose of food guides is to persuade consumers that all foods (especially those thatthey’re selling) fit into a healthful diet.

    The government readily complies. The newly recommended Dietary Guidelines, delivered to the government last September by its handpicked advisory committee will almost assuredly be categorically endorsed. The Guidelines include meaningless — even deceptive — recommendations like: “Choose carbohydrates wisely for good health” (is a breakfast cereal that’s 38 percent sugar a “wise” choice?) and “Choose fats wisely for good health” (are fast food French fries cooked in artery-clogging, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, a powerful promoter of heart disease, a “wise” choice?). Further, in an apparent attempt to make no foods off-limits, the Guidelines give the nod to “discretionary calories” from added sugars and fats, once basic nutritional needs have been met.

    These statements, which will form the basis of all national food and nutrition policy (including all of the U.S. school meal programs), protect every interest group in the food industry by basically setting no limits on any type or amount of fat and carbohydrate consumed. And all of this with the directive to “control calorie intake to manage body weight.” Say what?

    How and why does the government allow this to happen? As I learned from my days as a USDA nutritionist, nutrition for the government is primarily a marketing tool to fuel growth in consumer food expenditures and demand for major food commodities: meat, dairy, eggs, wheat. It’s an economics lesson that has very little to do with our health and nutrition and everything to do with making sure that food expenditures continue to rise for all interests involved in the food industry.

    Moreover, the USDA has had a long and cozy relationship with the food industry, whose executives often end up in USDA leadership positions (for instance, Mr. Hentges, formerly of the National Pork Producers’ Council and mentioned earlier). In fact, consumer groups requested (unsuccessfully) last year that seven of the 13 panel members who were writing the Food Guidelines, be removed because of their close ties to the food industry. Additionally, hundreds of food industry lobbyists keep the USDA in line — their line. Agriculture is among the top 10 industries that spend most of on lobbying efforts.

    It's evident that the government can’t be relied on to provide objective, health-promoting food and nutrition advice. In the 25 years since the initial Food Guide was developed, we face an unprecedented nutrition crisis. A majority of Americans have poor-quality diets and the rates of diet-related chronic diseases, from cancer, diabetes and heart disease to digestive diseases and arthritis, are soaring. The latest research blames commercial food ingredients, imbalanced diets, excessive calories and too few nutrient and antioxidantrich vegetables, fruits and whole grains
    1489 days ago
    Found this online...written in 2004
    When our version of the Food Guide came back to us revised, we were shocked to find that it was vastly different from the one we had developed. As I later discovered, the wholesale changes made to the guide by the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture were calculated to win the acceptance of the food industry. For instance, the Ag Secretary’s office altered wording to emphasize processed foods over fresh and whole foods, to downplay lean meats and low-fat dairy choices because the meat and milk lobbies believed it’d hurt sales of full-fat products; it also hugely increased the servings of wheat and other grains to make the wheat growers happy. The meat lobby got the final word on the color of the saturated fat/cholesterol guideline which was changed from red to purple because meat producers worried that using red to signify “bad” fat would be linked to red meat in consumers’ minds.

    Where the USDA nutritionists, called for a base of 5-9 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day, it was replaced with a paltry 2-3 servings (changed to 5-7 servings a couple of years later because an anti-cancer campaign by another government agency, the National Cancer Institute, forced the USDA to adopt the higher standard). Our recommendation of 3-4 daily servings of whole-grain breads and cereals was changed to a whopping 6-11 servings forming the base of the Food Pyramid as a concession to the processed wheat and corn industries. Moreover, my nutritionist group had placed baked goods made with white flour — including crackers, sweets and other low-nutrient foods laden with sugars and fats — at the peak of the pyramid, recommending that they be eaten sparingly. To our alarm, in the “revised” Food Guide, they were now made part ofthe Pyramid’s base. And, in yet one more assault on dietary logic, changes were made to the wording of the dietary guidelines from “eat less” to “avoid too much,” giving a nod to the processed-food industry interests by not limiting highly profitable “fun foods” (junk foods by any other name) that might affect the bottom line of food companies.
    1489 days ago
    The food pyramid was first created in the 70s and adopted by the US (following a lot of lobbying by the food industry) in the 90s I think. In the 50s when I was in school, it was still the Four Basic Food Groups, a LOT simpler. I still think that way.
    1489 days ago
  • SHERYLP461
    I also fee a low glycemic food diet is the most sensible.

    Another issue is eating food, real food, not the garbage you buy in boxes at the supermarket. A good rule of thumb is no white foods except cauliflower. Eat fresh, not canned and frozen if it is not in season. Whole grains, not refined. Sorry off on one of my tangents again
    1489 days ago
    I've also researched about the Paleo way of eating. There are parts of it that make sense to me, as does the lowcarb way. I'm trying to put together a nutritional plan that works for ME, and is one I can live with for the rest of my life. Balance and moderation still seem the best way to do anything... emoticon
    One of the great things about SP is that it gives us the tools to explore how we can become healthier and fitter... and stay that way in every stage of our lives. SP has resources to keep us educated and informed about nutrition, etc. so we can make sound decisions for ourselves.
    Knowledge is power! The power to change and be the best we can be! emoticon
    Keep exploring, keep Sparking!
    1489 days ago
    I have to deal with Type 2 Diabetes.
    Eating low carb and little gluten has improved my life.
    I am controlling Diabetes with no Insulin.
    1489 days ago
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