Do you remember the food pyramid from you grade school days? You may be shocked to find out that it has remain nearly unchanged for decades despite the loads of nutritional discoveries unlocked by researchers over the years.
You may recall that grains (bread, pasta, rice) are situated at the base of this pyramid. For two decades, the United States Department of Agriculture itself recommended that upwards of half of your diet should be derived from from carbohydrates.
This is, by no means, good advice. The American educational system as well as government sponsored organizations are not receptive to new information apparently. It takes years or even decades for them to amend their recommendations to reflect the information that is revealed and commonly accepted by the scientific community. This is quite travesty if you ask me.
However, the USDA did introduce their “my plate” system that is, relative to the archaic food pyramid, quite great. In the My Plate system, United States of Department of Agriculture is recommending that vegetables and fruits account for about half of your diet and that grains make up a more reasonable 30%.
The USDA also is now recommending that protein make up of 20% up of your diet, a marked increase from their previous recommendations.
That said, there are a number of things that the USDA could have done better with regards to their “My Plate” system.
Firstly, the My Plate system does not feature healthy fats such as organic dairy products, nuts, and oils. These healthy fats serve as a vital component of a health diet and should be consumed much more than the old food pyramid recommends.
Secondly, grains should account for about a sixth or 15% of your diet. Research has shown that you should be try to eat grains for breakfast and after a workout.
Additionally, try to increase your protein take to about 35% from the recommended 20%. There are a number of benefits from consuming more protein such as decreasing body fat, increasing muscle, increasing the thermic effect of feeding, and more.