It doesn’t seem fair, but almost all the sources we might turn to for wellness education are broken and contaminated by financial gain.
Until very recently, the majority of us would have never questioned the legitimacy of the USDA Food Guide Pyramid (now MyPlate), an organization from the beginning, riddled with deceit with close ties to food manufacturers. We went to school, were taught that we should eat 6-11 servings of BREAD a day and went on our merry way. Think about the last time you had 6-11 servings of bread a day!
Unfortunately, this pyramid was suggesting people eat a lot of everything. This is not a scientific document, but a political one. Governmental ties to food manufacturers would shape the future guidelines of what we, as a whole, should eat, for the pure intent of financial gain and nothing else. If this doesn’t madden you, it should because the 1991 Food Guide Pyramid was initiated and encouraged until 2005 and that's a long time to be eating 6-11 servings of bread a day. And so many people did and still do! No wonder we have such an issue with obesity in this country.
A few law suits later that showed USDA had financial ties to the meat, dairy and egg industries happened at about the same time obesity rates were going through the roof across the country. The Food Guide Pyramid was then renamed MyPyramid, which improved a bit, giving vegetables more of a preference, adding nuts and seeds as protein sources and admitting in the description that not everyone can properly digest cow’s milk. It also encouraged exercise with a stick person running up stairs. Better, but not great, since most Americans do not exercise and should not be consuming the same amount of dairy as vegetables.
The recommendations morphed once again, but this time to a plate (MyPlate - our current nutritional guideline). It’s easier to read and understand, but where does this image fall short? How can you use these suggestions to adjust your own plate in order to feel better, lose weight and gain energy?
First of all, what does “grains” mean to you? Are you eating refined bread with dinner or a whole grain like quinoa, buckwheat or brown rice?
Why are we still drinking milk with our meals when it’s one of the most inflammatory foods on the planet and most people have difficulty digesting it anyway? Instead, try drinking water and here’s something to think about: don’t drink it with your meal. Wait…what? You heard me. Drinking water with your meal will dilute the stomach acids needed to properly break down and digest your foods optimally. Aim to drink most of your water between meals. This will also help to curb mindless eating. People who are well hydrated have fewer episodes of impulse eating.
There’s also a lot of food on this plate. Most Americans eat too many calories per meal. Start by using a small salad plate if your main goal is weight loss and fill it halfway full with vegetables.
Add in healthy fats. Eating a meal without healthy fat makes nutrient absorption more difficult. Even if weight loss is your goal, you still need healthy fat as a staple in your diet. Some of my favorites are avocados, hemp seeds, avocado, coconut and olive oil, and chia seeds.
Bottom line is that we are all individuals. My clients hear me say this all the time…the diet that I thrive on will not be the same exact diet that YOU thrive on. The dietary guidelines published by the USDA are just that…guidelines. It’s just unfortunate that the recommendations given to us since 1917 are biased by larger manufacturers trying to push their own agenda. The same holds true for any company trying to sell you the magic weight loss pill or energy drink.
Know your body, be a detective and ask questions because there is nothing out there better and more impactful for your health and longevity than good, clean whole food.
Below is an EXAMPLE of how you could build your plate if your main goal is weight loss, to regain energy or to balance hormones, including the thyroid. There is no one size fits all diet. Every one of my clients has a slightly different diet and it's dynamic. The foods my clients eat when they are healing are different than the foods they thrive on afterwards.
How are you building your plate? Does it still resemble the outdated 1991 Food Guide Pyramid or MyPyramid? Evaluate for yourself the difference in that pyramid compared to the plate I have designed for you below. What are the biggest differences you see?
Are you sick and tired of wondering what to eat? Have chronic issues that just won't go away even when you do eat healthy and exercise? I hear you and there's so much you can do to finally get that life of thriving energy. See the success past clients of mine have had. Send me an email or sign up for a free mini-session so we can uncover what's holding you back and put you on a path towards what you're really meant to feel like.