Friday, June 3, 2011

I hope "my plate" isn't your plate

Food groups, food pyramid and its incarnations, and now our beloved government presents My Plate in order to help Americans figure out what and how much to eat. The representations on the plate are:
  • fruit
  • vegetables
  • protein
  • grains
and then there's dairy, which didn't make it onto the plate, but seems to be a side serving. Apparently fat, which is essential to the nervous system, is undeserving of it's own group and is now considered part of one of the other groups. Are they saying "don't worry, you're getting enough"?? Well...that's sort of true. Most people are getting way too much and should keep an eye on it.

My Plate indicates that a little less than 1/4 of each plate should be protein. This is presumably at EACH MEAL. Yet when I research RDA protein guidelines, the highest number I can find indicates less than 2.5 ounces PER DAY for most women. Several other sites -

- quote amounts based on weight and if you do all the conversions (numbers are given in grams and kilograms) they indicate about 1.5-2 OUNCES PER DAY. These numbers are for the average, sedentary person. Athletes or those with physically demanding jobs will require more.

Right now the maximum weight of a letter that can be mailed first class is 3.5 oz. This is MORE THAN DOUBLE the amount of protein "they" say we should eat, when we look at numbers. Yet somehow that translates to about 1/4 of each plate of food that's being eaten at each meal?!?!?! Please tell me what I'm missing or how I am misinterpreting this.

Oh, wait. I see where I went wrong. They're having green smoothies for breakfast and not even using a plate. LOL!

I am also confused about the groupings. If we're going to talk about nutrients, like protein, then why doesn't My Plate have calcium, magnesium and other essential nutrients? Probably because, like protein, they are contained in food. Vegetables have protein. So do fruits and grains. It's just like they've decided we don't need to list fat because it's in (nearly) everything.

I hope my readers will use discretion if inclined to adopt My Plate. It doesn't have to be your plate. I know it won't be mine.

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