New food ‘pyramid’…what???

The United States Department of Agriculture has just released their new Food ‘Pyramid’…well no longer a ‘Pyramid’…a ‘Plate’…a progression from an older view introduced in 1992, to the middle one introduced in 2005, which was supposed to be in wide use by 2010, and the recently released one on the right


In looking at these 3 explanations of what to eat, the only one that makes sense to me at all is the one on the left…the ‘Old’ version…the middle one is bizarre…supposed to promote exercise on top of a jumble of food…and the most recent one on the right takes heavy research on the Internet to make any practical sense of at all

…I guess at least somebody is trying to make a point of eating healthy, but sadly I fear that for the money spent (2 million for the Plate design the Times reports) doing a lousy job…alright, at least it’s better than the middle one…what was somebody thinking in 2005 when they released that one?

The first thing that strikes me is that the new groups are:

  • vegetables
  • fruits
  • grains
  • dairy
  • protein

Like wow…who dreams up this stuff…obviously protein is an ‘element’ of meat and fish and legumes…the old and intended ‘group’ … so of course protein is not a ‘group’ of foods, but rather an ‘element’ of foods that we also find in vegetables, and dairy and grains…none of which are mentioned in their definition of ‘protein’ when you check it out online…sigh

Seems like something that went from a reasonable idea to an out-in-left-field-totally-irrelevant-to-the-mere-mortal-person idea…

…and any suggestions on calories or portions are vague or non-existant…or confusing…or have broken links…and to me that’s the crux of the diet thing:

  • portion control and
  • less ‘secret sauce’ (high calorie junk elements each day)

…and I just don’t see those 2 elements addressed in a clear, unmistakable message…in fact the opposite…that Plate looks pretty full to me…and not enough detail on the ‘Plate’ to be useful…so an opportunity lost

So I’m thinking that the normal guy could look at his Big Mac…and wondering whether tomatoes are a vegetable or a fruit, maybe add a banana to be safe…should still fit on one plate…covers all the categories 🙂

…and since a push for more fruits and vegetables appears to be a primary focus, the ‘Plate’ folks may say ‘mission accomplished’

…of course that’s just me…and since the Plate is more of an Internet Portal design, than a useful design on its own (not enough detail) if you want to dive in deeper it’s …as I’m reading through it, I can’t help but wonder ‘which lobbyist wrote this paragraph’ though…

…to read a more balanced review, you can read the CNN article, which is kinder and includes quotes from the various authors of the plate idea and why they think it’s clearer

…or just go to and select ‘Nutrition‘ from the categories in the right side column for all you need to know about Ironman nutrition, including a complete commentary on the vegan diet and Ironman 🙂

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