Getting rid of THE food pyramid? The infamous pyramid that I’ve known since elementary school. When I heard about this, my jaw may have dropped but I kept an open mind. The idea of a plate, I could see where it could maybe work. Maybe a pie graph that showed how much we are suppose to have of one category versus another throughout the day. (I’m a very visual person). I had my hopes. But then I looked online at what this new “Plate” idea truly was and all hopes I had were instantly shot down.
My first reaction was “Is this what I’m suppose to have for every meal?” The old pyramid told us that we needed 2-3 servings of dairy, 6-11 servings of grains, etc. but this new plate only shows us how much we are to put on a single plate. What size is “the plate?” Maybe I only have to use a salad size plate. After all, it emphasizes eating less. And wait, I can fill half my plate with fruits and vegetables! GLORIOUS! My eating disorder would have loved this idea! Actually, it sounds a lot like what I used to do in my disease. I bet I’d conveniently be full after eating that half of the plate too. Dairy isn’t ON my plate? What if I want my dairy on my food? Does it have to be on the side? I don’t like it on the side, it’s not very symmetrical. (I might have some OCD tendencies). How much is 1 serving? Do I need 1 serving or 2? What size is that little bowl? On the website it tells us to use fat-free or low-fat milk! But what about the fact I use almond milk which is not fat-free?
Saving the best for last: there are no fats, oils or sweets on this plate. I instantly, jokingly emailed a dietitian of mine and asked if this meant that I no longer had to have my fats or desserts in my meal plan. Then I realized the horror of this: NO MORE ICE CREAM! Thankfully, ice cream is made of milk, so maybe it can count as a dairy! After more investigation I saw that they point out that fats and oils are important but not considered a food group in this new plan.
With a lot of frustration, I dug into the website more in search of how much of each group we needed in a day. I found under “interactive tools” that we can make a “Daily Food Plan” based upon our own body weight, height, and activity level. This table was created for me:
So it addresses fats but it also puts it in terms of calories. My normal is definitely over that. And only 6 teaspoons of fat allowed? This is going to cause a problem. At least this did give me a tool to see the total number of servings needed for each group. I just had to do some digging to find it.
All in all, I prefer the old pyramid. Maybe it’s just because that’s what I’ve grown up on, it’s what I’m used to, and I don’t like change. I don’t know. Or maybe it is actually that I think this new one is harder to understand and lacks some information with initial glancing. I am glad I have my own dietitian to tell me what is appropriate for my body, my mind, and my level of activity.
What do you think of My Plate?