MyPlate Review

Hey party people 😉  Um yah….the line comes from my favorite movie. And that movie would be Legally Blonde. Don’t judge. My husband (then ‘guy friend’) even watched it with me while I was healing from that horrible bike accident.

That is love <3.  My sisters even told me that he had to be a keeper if he would watch Legally Blonde with me. Ha. How right they were!

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I even saw the Legally Blond musical on Broadway in NYC when I visited a friend!

Okay. I digress.

It was an epic weekend, thanks for noticing 😉 But something else happened right before the weekend hit and I did not have a chance to talk about it: the government released the new MYPLATE (the updated version of MyPyramid) to help Americans guide their food choices.

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Yah it was a good step in a nice direction for several reasons, but it also failed in a few other epic ways (in my opinion).

The old pyramids:

My OPINIONS on the new MyPlate <—take with a grain of salt (b/c my opinions are not yours)

  1. I do like that the USDA switched to a plate instead of a pyramid, as the pyramid confused people. Who eats in ‘pyramid’ form anyway? I know my plates and dishes do not serve up food pyramid style. heh. A plate is what most people recognize.
  2. I like that fruits and veggies take up half the plate…..but I still think the veggies should take up more space! Most research shows that eating as many veggies and fruits as possible does not deter any weight loss or weight maintenance goals, and in fact may help the diet and weight efforts. Besides, fruits and veggies taste amazing (when in season)! Eat more fruits and veggies is my motto :)
  3. I dislike (like A LOT) that the dairy council pays the USDA oodles of money to sit in the decisions and guideline making processes…..especially because a lot of people can not stomach dairy, do not eat dairy (hello vegans and some vegetarians!), or do not like dairy. And MOST especially because a lot of research shows dairy (and/or) milk may not be that helpful in preventing osteoporosis as we once thought <—-the U.S. has the most hip, knee, and back surgeries because of bone loss/bone breaks yet we consume much more dairy than our Asian counterparts who boast the lowest rate of hip and bone breaks and osteoporosis diagnoses!
  4. I like dairy, don’t get me wrong (I don’t love the taste of milk, though), but the way the dairy giants (mostly ‘milk’ giants) go about trying to stuff milk down our throats via the USDA, is wrong. (Go read several books I’ve listed HERE to learn more) Besides, it is MyPLATE, not myplateandcupofmilk.
  5. Although the plate is very very simple (because the message goes to all Americans, even those who don’t read, don’t have much money, and don’t know much about nutrition), they could have been a TAD more specific about the grains section. I mean the poor grains/carbs have a bad rap enough, let’s confuse everyone all over again!
  6. The problem with the past pyramid(s) and the current plate is that if the USDA really wanted to reach allll Americans, then the USDA should not have added the small details, directions, and tips of how to ‘use’ the plate ONLY on the Internet. Not everyone has access to the Internet!!
  7. There is no ‘real’ section for nuts, legumes, and oils. <—healthy ‘fats.’ Let’s make everyone scared of the word “fat” again too.
  8. The portion sizes for each person is SO varied and thus the new MyPLATE is only a very, very crude guide for each individual. But, this leads to the point that if a guide is only sent out, then what happens to the follow up education?
  9. The U.S. (DA) has hardly ever met the health goals they set every 5 years…..and actually, some of the markers (like obesity and overweight percentages) are only getting worse, not better. Maybe it has something to do with the milk emphasis? Or the lack of nuts in people’s diets? Or the confusion over what a grain is?
  10. And WHERE is the fitness/exercise component?!! (The last pyramid definitely had that going for it!) Fitness/exercise IS a part of eating, in case anyone wondered. 😉

My favorite plate as of late??

myplate = huge salad bowl

I wrote part of my Master’s Thesis (in Exercise Sciences) on the diet quality consumption of female college students as compared to the USDA’s standard of MyPyramid recommendations, so I definitely know there are major flaws in the system (it was written in 2010, when the MyPyramid was the standard). But it is nice to have some sort of measure/checker out there, especially when writing a massive thesis (to graduate!) on it, as your basis 😉

My a.m. workout (today):

  • took 1 hour SPIN class!! <—I am not hooked, I just like the fab teacher. heh. And the copious amounts of sweat droplets pouring from my body. And the endorphins.
  • taught 1 hour BodyPUMP class

Have YOU checked out the new MyPLATE? What are YOUR thoughts about it?? Do YOU follow USDA guidelines for eating??

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Comments

  1. Lindsay says:

    “Besides, it is MyPLATE, not myplateandcupofmilk.” LOL! You are so hilarious!!!! I love reading your opinions and ideas… I find myself agreeing with you on a great deal of topics, particularly this most recent one. So ummmmm you should find someone in the govt. to contact about this issue! :) :)

  2. I don’t think that anyone is getting fat off fruits and vegetables–that have no butter or sauce on it. So people need to be steered towards an occasional glut on cold watermelon or crispy apples, or some other fruit or vegetable.

    I agree that people are super-sizing their portions–even at home. This plate is not supposed to be heaped. It’s not supposed to be a buffet plate.

    And–exercise–you’re right. For good health, I believe, based upon research that I’ve read, that exercise is even more important than keeping a good weight. So that should not have been ignored.

    :-) Marion

  3. caroline orien says:

    My first reaction was WHO designed THIS?! the dairy farmers!? The exercise component is nonexistence. I am not a fan of the new plate. I almost think it is too simple.
    I say scratch this myplate and try again.

  4. Great post lady!! I’m Canadian so we don’t do the MyPyramid/MyPlate thing but I’m studying up on it right now so I’m familiar…I share your thoughts completely…What is a healthy fat and why is it important to the body? What constitutes as a healthy grain? What are refined grains? Where the heck does the activity fit into our lives??

    I believe dairy is important (OK CALCIUM is important) but it’s over emphasized on the myplate and our canadian food guide too…It’s sad that even in something like this there is political and monetary B/S going on…

    It’s just too simple…Provide some depth and maybe people would realize that nuts and avocados are GREAT even though calorically high…and maybe they would know what the heck QUINOA is in the first place! Just as a few examples… Now I’m rambling…

    Annette that’s part of our role as healthy living food bloggers…Bring on the education and you really do a fantastic job babe!

  5. Alison says:

    I completely agree with your review of the new MyPlate. While the sectioned plate is easy to interpret and remember, it is a barebones version of true nutrition. I agree that veggies need to be increased–maybe even dedicate a second plate to veggies! 😉 And the grains section should say whole grains only…not the white flour, processed carbs that most people over consume. I’m a fan of most dairy products but don’t like the dairy council’s strong influence on it.

    The fitness/exercise component must be added in! Why not create a diagram or pie-chart representing weekly recommended exercise and activities (cardio, strength training, etc)?

  6. Alison says:

    P.S. I love spin! The rush of endorphins and sweat droplets are a huge plus!

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