Down With the Nutrition Pyramid?


Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website

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7 Responses

  1. Avatar Damon says:

    Never been a big fan of anyone telling me what I should do, or eat. I followed this pyramid for years and all I got was fatter. Yes, I ate more than I should, but the carbs drove my insulin resistance. No more. Carb intake is low, as is any form of sugar. I lost weight with that food plan…adding in jujitsu just increased the weight loss gain.Report

    • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to Damon says:

      I sort of giggle whenever nutrition debates roll around, as after half a dozen gastric surgery I cant eat most of that and wouldn’t process what I did anyway. I think the author makes a good point about how the opinions of the experts are always evolving, so moderation and self care will always work better than guidelines.Report

  2. fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

    And as the author pointed out, allergies and medical conditions (lactose intolerance, celiac, etc.) means what advice works for one person would be seriously bad for another. (The “more fruits and vegetables” thing for me – I’m allergic to lots of common vegetables and some fruits so my choice is to eat fewer veggies, rely on the same six or seven things all the time, or walk around hived up and gastrically-upset all the time).

    I suspect genomics will play a role in the future, where a test can be done suggesting what diet is optimal for someone (there are already “diet places” that claim to do this but I do not think the science is far enough advanced yet). And I’d hate to be given a card, like in some dystopia, that specified what foods I’m allowed to buy and consume…

    The problem is, though, often “government solutions” tend to (a) be blanket statements that are bad for many people or so general as to be useless and (b) are subject to tinkering by special-interest groups – so the “drink fewer sugary beverages” thing gets cut out.Report

  3. Avatar Kolohe says:

    So to be honest, the last time I thought about the USDA’s dietary and nutritional guidance was thinking of the food pyramid from school.

    If we’re being honest, I remember when 4,4,3,2 was the formula for me and you.Report

  4. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    I have both reached a certain age and changed docs, and have been surprised that the new docs care much less about what or how much I eat compared to how much I exercise. And they seem much happier if a bunch of that exercise is “carry heavy sh*t around until I’m breathing hard.”

    Well, there’s a bunch of things that I’d like to change in the backyard landscaping that involve lifting and carrying heavy sh*t around…Report

    • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to Michael Cain says:

      I’ve noticed the same about my current doc, she cares FAR LESS than a former doctor about the fact that I’m considerably overweight and cares more that I do vigorous regular exercise (and at least try to eat healthfully). I wonder if times are starting to change a little and it’s less “Men need ot be under 200 lbs and women need to be under 150 lbs” as a draconian rule, and more “We really want you to eat food that is made on a farm and not in a factory, and we want you to move around some every day”

      (Years ago I had a doctor who yelled at me for being overweight so having a doctor who is low-key about it is a huge thing, and makes me less prone to avoid going to the doctor at all.)Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Michael Cain says:

      My doctor’s basically of the view that since my cholesteral is healthy, my blood sugar is fine, that badgering me about my weight isn’t going to do much (weight loss is hard), but nagging my about my cardiovascular health can get results.

      I’m a big guy (and despite joining a gym, I’m gaining weight after being stable for years. I’d like to think that’s muscle but I don’t go that often), but my overall fitness is getting better thanks to the gym — at least, I can make 30 minutes on an elliptical without feeling like I’m going to die, maintaining my target (cardio target) heart rate for at least 20 of those minutes.

      Then go on to do some weight machines. it’s not running a marathon, but compared to where I started…..Report