U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, and Surgeon General Regina Benjamin recently unveiled the government’s new recommended eating plan. The 2005 USDA Food Pyramid has been replaced by MyPlate, the new nutrition icon.
MyPlate, according to Vilsack, provides “a simple, visual, research-based icon that is a clear, unmistakable message about portion size.” But is this new eating plan really better than the 1992 and 2005 Food Pyramids? Here’s what natural health expert Dr. Joseph Mercola thinks.
MyPlate Versus the Food Pyramid
At first glance, the new food plate icon appears to be leaps and bounds ahead of the previous Food Pyramids. Since it’s now a plate, it makes it easier for you to visualize what you should be eating.
The 1992 Food Pyramid encouraged Americans to eat a large amount of grains, specifically six to 11 servings of bread, cereal, rice, and pasta daily. Consuming too many refined carbohydrates is the opposite of what most people need to stay healthy.
The 2005 Food Pyramid, on the other hand, was not much better. It also recommended that your diet should be composed primarily of grains, but provided confusing and less useful information.
MyPlate no longer recommends that grains should form the bulk of your diet, but Dr. Mercola believes it’s still far from being an ideal eating plan.
Here are the five inherent flaws that Dr. Mercola found in MyPlate:
1. The importance of fats is taken for granted.
Except for a small serving of low-fat or fat-free dairy, fats are nowhere to be found on MyPlate. There is no mention of health-promoting fats like saturated fats and omega-3 fats.
2. Low-fat pasteurized milk products are recommended.
Dr. Mercola does not recommend consuming pasteurized dairy products of any kind. Pasteurization significantly diminishes the nutritional value of milk, as it depletes vitamins, destroys enzymes, denatures fragile milk proteins, kills beneficial bacteria known as probiotics, and actually promotes pathogens.
3. Eating too many fruits is not good for your health.
While Dr. Mercola acknowledges that MyPlate’s recommendation to “make half your plate fruits and vegetables” is a step in the right direction, he points out that most people actually need to limit their fruit consumption. Fruits are a good source of antioxidants and vitamins, but they also contain a lot of fructose, the main source of calories for Americans.
4. Vegetables nowadays are not as fresh as you think.
Increasing your vegetable consumption is good for your health, but you should keep in mind that many vegetables are contaminated with high levels of pesticides. This is why you should go for locally grown, organic vegetables. See Dr. Mercola’s list of recommended vegetables.
5. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all diet.
No single diet can suit everyone because we are all uniquely designed. A diet that works for you may not work for another person. This is why Dr. Mercola highly recommends Nutritional Typing, a central component of his health plan that helps you customize your diet.