TrainEatLive TrainEatLive
TrainEatLive
TrainEatLive TrainEatLive
TrainEatLive
TrainEatLive
TrainEatLive
TrainEatLive
HOME TRAINING NUTRITION WELLNESS PRODUCTS ABOUT CONTACT US
TrainEatLive
TrainEatLive
TrainEatLive
TrainEatLive
TrainEatLive
TrainEatLive more articles
TrainEatLive
TrainEatLive more articles
TrainEatLive
TrainEatLive more articles
TrainEatLive
TrainEatLive
>> Nutrition Home >> Training Home >> Wellness Home
Bookmark and Share
Why the Recommended Daily Allowances and Traditional Food Pyramids Should be Ignored
Just as useless as ice is to Eskimos.
By Courtney Krueger / www.TrainEatLive.com
The good old food pyramid! We've had that triangle shaped figure with the cute food illustrations shoved in our faces since our childhood nutrition classes. We remember memorizing each level to ace the exams: carbs make up the biggest section at the bottom, followed by fruit and vegetables, next come the protein and dairy products, and finally we have the fats at the tip of the pyramid that should be consumed "sparingly." Then we hit puberty and realized if we ate as much bread as the guideline told us to, our weight would balloon as quickly as our raging hormones. Was this model lying to us? Then in 2005, the U.S Department of Agriculture developed a new food pyramid that they claim corrects the outdated version's flaws and provides the most recent scientific facts. But why should we take this new model seriously when only years ago they "claimed" the traditional pyramid was accurate? And what happens in ten years when they develop a new structure that they "claim" is the correct one? New health studies will always be conducted and discoveries will be found that contradict old practices. (wasn't Splenda the healthy artificial sugar when it was first on the market?) Maybe they will never have all the answers. One thing is for sure, when it comes to the food pyramid, there is only one correct answer; all of the models are wrong!
The food pyramid is a guideline for how all humans should eat. From the get go this concept is flawed because no two humans have the same nutritional needs. Everyone has their own personal pyramid, and this is the only triangle that should be acknowledged. (get out some markers and draw your own pretty pictures) There are many factors that influence where these images will get placed on your pyramid. These include gender, age, build, size, level of activity, disease, life situations, and fitness goals. Let's examine of few examples:
  • Body builders and serious fitness gurus need more protein to maintain and repair their muscle tissue.
  • Women require more calcium than men since they lose bone density quicker and want to prevent osteoporosis. (especially postmenopausal women)
  • Vegetarians need more legumes to replace the protein they're not getting from meat and poultry.
  • Elderly people need more calcium and fiber for bone and digestion health.
  • Seriously active people should consume more carbs to keep their energy levels high
  • People with diseases like diabetes should limit certain carbs, fats, and sugars
  • Pregnant women should consume an extra 300 calories, make sure they're getting enough folic acid, and avoid certain food like unpasteurized cheese and fish
The list can go on and on, but you get the picture, and this one is painted in color unlike the black and white pyramid.

One of the biggest contradictions of the old pyramid (refer to the picture above) is the group that takes up the most space on the pyramid; the controversial carbohydrate! This bottom level reveals drawing of bread, pasta, rice, and cereal. What is wrong with these pictures? They don't convey the types of starchy carbs we should be consuming. The new food pyramid addresses this problem, decreasing the carb column and referring to them as "grains." It reads, "half of all grains consumed should be whole grains." While this is progress, it is still vague and doesn't clear up carb confusion. And what does it mean by "half?" There is a big difference between whole and refined grains, and anything made from white flour turns to sugar when digested. It's what is left of a whole grain after it has been depleted of nutrients, and it's not pretty! Our bodies don't know the difference between a slice of white bread and a slice of white cake. (oh but our palettes do!) This means sugar will temporarily spike our energy levels, thus causing us to crash, and it will encourage blood sugar problems. When you're searching for foods rich in fiber and vitamins, don't be fooled by labels. Put the box down if you see the words "enriched" or "fortified," because this means that the good nutrients have been stripped from the food and replaced with an imposter. Make sure the first ingredient reads, "whole" (as in whole grain or whole wheat) to ensure you are getting the "whole" health benefit!

While the new food pyramid is a vast improvement, it still does not cater to personal needs or address the differences found in each food group. Carbs are not the only misunderstood food group; what about fruit? There are several types of fruit, some better for us than others, and what about the fruits that are considered vegetables? Don't get confused; get the facts! It is important to realize how each food group is linked and to remember that not all foods in a particular section are created equal. There is so much more that goes into the food pyramid than what we can see on paper. A healthy eating habit needs to be established on an individual basis. After you watch American Idol tonight, work on configuring your own eating chart. You do need to eat from every group, and if you're unsure about your pyramid's ratios, take to your physician or a nutritionalist. When making food decisions, remember to keep it colorful and remember the spice of life: variety!
 

Train Well, Eat Well and Live Well with www.TrainEatLive.com

Just some of what we cover:
The Importance of Physical Fitness | Benefits of Exercise | Why Should People Exercise | Free Exercise Tips | Free Fitness Programs | Physical Fitness Articles | Fitness Training Plans | Free Fitness Routines | Proper Nutrition for Athletes |  Why is Nutrition so Important | Bodybuilding and Supplementation | Athlete's Guide to Nutrition | Nutrition Health Articles | Definition of Wellness | Health and General Wellness

FREE E-BOOK:
DOWNLOAD NOW BY CLICKING ON BELOW



TrainEatLive
TrainEatLive TrainEatLive