I have been aware for a few years that the USDA was working on re-doing their famous Food Pyramid, which has been the recommended diet for as long as I can remember, and I am 52. Well, it was just launched.
A few years ago, a doctor friend, who was officially involved in trying to steer this effort, showed me a proposal that was on the table at the time. He was excited because the new one turned the old pyramid literally upside down. For the most part, he treated obesity as his specialty and he knew that this change would have a HUGE positive effect on the trends in obesity. He thought it was a great change!
The old one had grains, breads, and pastas, etc. as the main foods to eat. It was at the bottom of the pyramid showing that these foods were supposed to be the foundation of a healthy diet. The new one put these high glycemic carbohydrates at the top of the pyramid showing you should eat these in great moderation. Is that proposal what showed up on the new "pyramid"? Nope!
In fact, the pyramid is gone! It is now a rainbow! I think it is very confusing, and I also think it's heavily influenced by big money lobbyists groups who have grains as well as vegetable oils (unsaturated fats) to sell America and the rest of the world. There is actually very little change in the USDA's "new" diet!
Did the old one work? Well, no! That is why they have been working for a few years to change it. During the time that this was the recommended diet, we have seen epidemics in almost every disease category, especially diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. In virtually every culture where grains have been a large part of the diet, degenerative diseases are rampant.
It is a fact that eating a low fat, high carbohydrate diet is very unhealthy. The body needssaturated fat, as every cell in the body is almost totally made up of saturated fat. The brain is over 60% saturated fat.
High carbos on the other hand, dramatically raise insulin levels causing all sorts of blood sugar issues, insulin resistance, and they force the body to store fat instead of burn fat for energy. As long as your insulin levels are high, your body will NEVER burn your fat off! Grains rapidly raise insulin levels. It is high insulin levels that have a dramatic effect on Cholesterol, HDL, and LDL. Fat consumption actually has little effect on these. Sugar, and things that turn to sugar rapidly (like grains), are what kills you!
In my book, I ask the question several times, "why does government keep recommending something that research has shown over and over is wrong?" The answer that I gave then and I give now is the same. Just follow the money!
There are very powerful groups who have $$$Billions at stake if America truly changed its diet! The lobbying efforts they spend on something like the USDA food pyramid are enormous! At the end of the day, big money usually wins out over good research and sanity.
Ranchers know the truth. When they get ready to take their livestock to market, they want to fatten them up so they can get top dollar. So a logical rancher says, "I am going to feed a bunch of fat to my cattle so that they will get good and fat." Does that work? Nope! Ranchers learned a long time ago that their cattle will actually lose weight eating a high fat diet!
So what works? Grains! Ranchers feed lots of grains to their livestock to fatten them up. Does the same thing work with humans? Yep! I know it is counter intuitive but ask any rancher! It is mostly all about insulin! (Actually a little more complicated than that, but I won't go into it here).
I know in my own case, when I used to eat a lot of grain/sugar based things, I could not help but gain weight! I once blimped up to about 195 pounds. Changing my diet to where I eat most of my calories in different types of meat and fats, I dropped and now maintain my weight at around 170 pounds. About where I should be for my height.
I guarantee that the new Food Pyramid will do nothing to stop the degenerative epidemics that are underway! America really needs better advice than this! Simply turning a pyramid into a rainbow is not going to help anyone!