What do you think of the Food Pyramid?

Contributor: surreptitious surreptitious
The food pyramid - a guide to how many servings from each food group you should be getting a day - was ground into me from a young age. We were taught it in school from the time we were six or seven all the way through to high school health class. The exact number of suggested servings varies wildly depending on who you ask, however, so even if I were the type to blindly believe the things that my teachers tell me (I'm looking at you, Catholic school sex ed class), I'd have a hard time accepting that there's a certain amount of each thing that everyone should be eating, since nutritionists can't even appear to come to a consensus about it.

That being said, I think that there's some validity to the general structure for those without dietary restrictions - eating more servings of veggies than servings of double chocolate fudge ice cream makes a lot of sense. Personally, however, I don't think that I need up to 12 servings of grains a day, especially if white carbs are being grouped in with slow carbs - people thinking that it's healthy to eat an entire loaf of bleached white bread in the course of a day or something just because grains are at the bottom of the pyramid could definitely stand to learn a bit more about nutrition. Not all grains/fruits/veggies/ milk products are equal, and this system isn't designed to reflect that.

I'm wondering if anyone still uses a food pyramid type scheme for either themselves or for their children, or if it's a thing of the past. Were you ever exposed to the food pyramid in school or through some other means, or is this post entirely news to you? What healthy eating strategies (if any) do you use, if you don't use a "recommended servings" breakdown? Even if you've never heard of the food pyramid, do you try to get a specific amount of certain types of food in a day, or do you just make whatever you feel like/is within your budget? Please answer honestly according to your general eating habits, and feel free to tell me if they've changed recently or are prone to changing in times of stress/with the seasons/etc - I'm not going to judge you if you tell me that pizza is the only vegetable in your diet.
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Contributor: DolphinGirl DolphinGirl
I think that the food pyramid is totally wrong - our diet should be based on vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, and legumes. Grains (especially wheat-based) are actually somewhat harmful for our bodies since they have been so genetically modified over the decades. Dairy and meat should be eaten sparsely as a luxury item. Unfortunately, the American diet has skewed our view of what a "normal" meal entails, but it is so far off-track from what our bodies actually need.
Contributor: JennSenn JennSenn
I think the food pyramid used to be a rough guide of how to eat healthy. Sort of a suggestion of the proportions of what you should eat. Now though I totally hate it. It's made near impossible to accurately tell proportions and they have a freaking stairs section to represent exercise! Exercise is not a food group! It's not food at all! Therefore it should not be on a FOOD pyramid! Seriously! Ugh, anyway, now they have all these complex little pyramids and I think it's gotten a little over analyzed. It's not the hard rules that people seem to be taking it as. If you want that go see a nutritionist or something. Not a little pyramid.

Also, not to be rude, but meat is actually something we should be eating normally I think. Or at least not just as a luxury. I mean, if you have no restrictions based on morals or dietary needs. Dairy less so since we're not really built to handle it all that well. We evolved eating meat and fats and that's why they taste good. I kind of believe in eating what you feel like since I think the body does have a natural idea of what's good for it. But then, I also believe in doing things in moderation, so that's something to keep in mind.

I don't really know that much so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on something, but those are just my personal feelings on the matter. I would never impose them on someones.

I also think that what people believe is good or bad for us to eat changes so often it's not something you have to keep THAT on top of. Try to stay away from dangerous stuff and eat things in moderation. Be sensible and I don't think you can do that much damage to yourself.

Man I really typed a lot on this. Usually I try to keep my posts short. Didn't even know I had that much to say on the subject. Other than that having a spot for exercise on a food pyramid is ridiculous.

Oh, and I am TERRIBLE at eating right. XD
Contributor: eri86 eri86
Aren't there new food 'shapes' out there?
Contributor: GONE! GONE!
I can't eat all the food it thinks is a good idea in a single day, that's for sure.
Contributor: rosythorn rosythorn
Its heavy on the carbs, that is why I go with the plate now.
Contributor: Woman China Woman China
I think the food charts and such should be teaching about proportion control first and foremost, and then going from there. Can you imagine following that food chart everyday???? I know I couldn't.

I heard rumours years ago, that one of the reasons in the Canadian Food Guide, they list you need lots of dairy each day was to keep the milk farmers going. I don't know how true this is, but it was interesting to yak about so that is why I mentioned it here.
Contributor: SneakersAndPearls SneakersAndPearls
Originally posted by Woman China
I think the food charts and such should be teaching about proportion control first and foremost, and then going from there. Can you imagine following that food chart everyday???? I know I couldn't.

I heard rumours years ago, that one of ...
My college kineseology professor (kind of like a glorified health class) told us that the reason that the US food pyramid is so very heavy on grains and breads is because of lobbyists at the time the food pyramid was being drafted, not because of health. I could believe that.