Thoughts and Links: Canucks, Food Pyramid, High-Fat, Park Gyms, and Fruit

June 5, 2011

Photo by Vaska037

Wooohooo! The Canucks are just 2 wins away from the Stanley Cup!! Vancouver lost its marbles last night – the honking and cheering didn’t die down until hours after the game! And the crowds were a sea of jerseys. Combined with the awesome weather this weekend (finally!), there’s definitely a lot of excitement around here! GO CANUCKS GO!! :)

That’s not what MyPlate looks like…

In less exciting but still history-in-the-making news, we can no longer refer to the highly-revered food pyramid as such. The USDA replaced the pyramid with… a plate. And a tall glass of (skim) milk.


For starters, I gotta say that at least it’s visually appealing. So bright and cheerful. Definitely less daunting than a pyramid. And it does appear less confusing. Rather than having to keep track of the number of servings per day, people now just need to look at the proportions of each meal to see if they are on track with the USDA’s dietary guidelines. The end result being the same, of course. The plate isn’t moving us any closer to health.

Fruits and veggies take up half the plate. Grains and proteins share the other half. They got the fruit < veggies part right. Got the grains > meat part terribly wrong. But hey, lets be grateful protein’s even on the plate. And of course, hooray for grains no longer being the base/building block/foundation/largest portion of the food pyramid! I guess this is how the lobbying played out?

Now, if you want to keep your sanity, I recommend just looking at the pretty picture, and smiling and nodding. Perhaps imagine the grain quadrant being replaced by saturated fats, and the protein as some nice juicy meat. And leave it at that. Because if you read the details, you’ll be inundated with the same-old nonsense, like the recommendation to switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk. Oh, and by the way, soy milk is considered dairy, whereas processed soy products fall under protein. And if you do eat meat, make sure it’s lean. And this one’s a gem: saturated fats are considered “empty calories” and should be avoided along the same lines as sugar! I digress… ain’t it pretty??

Eating Fat, Staying Lean

Shocking news over at New York Times, “Eating Fat, Staying Lean” – a low-carb, high-fat diet might not kill you. It might actually help you lose weight. But only if you exercise, and they’re still not sure if it won’t kill you in the long run. But they’re looking into it. Hey, I guess it’s progress…

“It took people less time to lose 10 pounds” on a high-fat diet-and-exercise program, about 45 days on average, than the 70 days it took for those who exercised and followed a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet constructed using guidelines from the American Heart Association, said Kerry J. Stewart, director of clinical and research exercise physiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and lead author of the report. And at least in the short term, there were no apparent harmful effects.

Coming to a park near you…

“Elliptical trainers and quad machines.”

Although apparently some people out there do recognize that you don’t need equipment to exercise. Shocking, I know.

“It may not be the workout solution for everyone – many personal trainers say specialized equipment isn’t necessary for people who want to get in shape. A bench, monkey bars and your body’s own weight are sufficient for a solid workout, says Eric Astrauskas, owner of Personal Trainer in Toronto.”

First rice, then potatoes, now fruit?

Monkey Orange Photo from Raw Food SOS, by Douglas Boldt of boldt.us

Fruit is the current topic of debate by some in the paleo-sphere, sparked by this post, “Wild and Ancient Fruit: Is it Really Small, Bitter, and Low in Sugar?” Check out what others think at Paleohacks and Free the Animal (including the comments).

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