Monday, October 11, 2010

Exploring the Food Guide Pyramid

First, let me ask a few questions:
Have you heard of the Food Guide Pyramid?
 Did you know it was revised in 2005 and changed into the "MyPyramid"?
After critiquing the MyPyramid as a class assignment, it seems that the general population is not even aware that such a resource exists or is available to them!

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has developed based on the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  It provides an interactive experience in learning about food and nutrition, as well as individualized suggestions for calories, servings per day, meal plans and more. The site does have certain limitations, but allows users to create individual profiles and track their daily food intake.  These are services people seek out in websites such as Weight Watchers Online or South Beach Diet Online, but are provided for FREE!

While the website lacks cultural sensitivity and is only available in English or Spanish versions, it can provide some fun and interesting tips on reaching your daily food requirements!  I hope the next revision of the pyramid will take alternative diets into consideration, such as vegan and vegetarianism.  I find it a conflict of interest for the USDA to develop such a program and promote milk and meat, as they are producers of those items.  Many people choose not to include dairy or meat in their lives, and should be able to use the MyPyramid materials as well. 

For another interesting take on healthy eating, check out The Healthy Eating Pyramid.  It was developed by the Department of Nutrition at Harvard's School of Public Health as an alternative to the USDA model, and focuses on daily exercise and weight management.

Both sites are worth checking out, clicking around and getting some new nutrition tips!

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