One size Pyramid
doesn't fit all
Shank, aka "Fiberlady"
Even if you don't follow a high fiber menu or alot of high fiber recipes,
have a half cup of orange juice at breakfast, a pear with lunch and a
salad along with a cooked vegetable at dinner. You've just met some of the
standards from the new
FDA nutritional guidelines, "MyPyramid".
It's all very simple. Eat a minimum of three one-ounce servings of whole
grains daily along with at least five servings of fruits and vegetables.
For the high fiber challenged, try a whole grain cereal at breakfast
rather than the sugar-laden, empty calorie brand you stock in the pantry.
Switch from white to whole grain bread for your lunchtime sandwich.
In April, 2005, the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture)
released it's interactive dietary guidelines called
My Pyramid. Apparently
we were long overdue for an updated version of the flawed and misleading
former food pyramid. With the current growing awareness of the health
benefits of high fiber food in today's diet, it's a wonder that Americans
have made it this far without more effective guidelines. Or have we?
Two-thirds of Americans are now
overweight, and some experts actually
blame some of that on the food pyramid. The old one consisted of the "Four
Basic Food Groups" that you remember growing up with as a kid. Too many
kids today are faced with weight problems due to poor eating habits and
lack of exercise.
MyPyramid is by design simple and encourages healthier food choices
including whole grains and high fiber foods along with daily exercise.
Six bands of color from the peak of MyPyramid to the base indicate: orange
for grains, green for vegetables, red for fruits, a tiny band of yellow
for oils, blue for milk, and purple for meat and beans. The widths suggest
the amount of food a person should select from each group.
A little figure running up the stairs acts as a reminder to get some
exercise. Unfortunately, no mention is made of the differences between
aerobic and anaerobic exercise, or the role of strength training
The new guidelines distinguish between 'grains' and 'whole grains',
essential when choosing fiber-rich foods. Rather than just suggesting we
eat fruits and vegetables', MyPyramid suggests eating a variety of fresh
fruits and vegetables rather than the empty calories found in fruit
The guidelines include healthy dairy choices that are low-fat instead of
the highly saturated fats found in some milk and cheeses. The three
recommended glasses of low-fat milk, however, can add more than 300
calories a day. Not great for those concerned about controlling their
Also encouraged is replacing red meat with a combination of fish, poultry,
beans, and nuts offers numerous health benefits. Be aware that these foods
have different types of fats.
Basically, MyPyramid emphasizes good fats, like olive and fish oil, not
butter and animal fat, and good carbs, like those from vegetables, whole
grains and fruits, or from processed grains and sugars.
MyPyramid contains interactive activities that make it easy to key in your
age, sex and your amount of physical activity to create a more
personalized recommendation for a daily calorie intake.
No doubt in the years to come, researchers will discover new evidence that
will impact more changes for a healthy diet. But the results are in and
here to stay: a high fiber diet is vital to long-term health. Pyramid.
to use this article if you use the following tag:
Stephanie Shank aka "Fiberlady" has studied nutrition for many healthy years
which prompted her commitment to a high fiber lifestyle and the
development of her informative website
High Fiber Health.
© 2006: High Fiber Health, Inc. | High Fiber Foods | Foods High in Fiber
Day Trip to Fiberland: