Tuesday, June 28, 2011

MyPlate???

Today was may day off from working out.  There are still some hints of soreness in my arms and in other areas, but overall not bad.  Still, I figured today was a good day to take a break.

Now, because I'm not working out I was thinking of what I was eating somewhat.  Which brings me to something I have been looking at...

A few weeks ago the USDA replaced the classic food pyramid with the new "MyPlate".  When I originally started looking at it I did agree with some of the initial thoughts that it was better than the food pyramid.  I liked how it showed you how a plate should look and thus could give a person a better idea about what their meals should look like.  Although, I do miss the little pictures, but I guess I'll have to admit I'm an adult and I don't need pictures depicting everything now.


Now there are two things that I don't like about MyPlate.

First, it's not very realistic.  Who is really going to make their plate look like that?  Also, I've never seen a pasta plate, pizza, or teriyaki bowl look like that.  Yes, I understand it's an idealistic concept that doesn't reflect exactly how your plate should be, but still.  I like my veggies, but typically my proteins and carbs tend to take up a majority of my plate.  There are also concerns about the idea being affordable.  There is a writer on CNN who wrote this article debating MyPlate and if it is affordable and possible to the everyday American.  He is also tweeting for everyone to see if its possible.  There is another CNN article where people have made their ideal MyPlate which is pretty entertaining, and in all honesty, probably more realistic.  You can find the article here.

Second, when you go to the USDA's site, there's an option to personalize your MyPlate where they show the amount of each food type you should be eating.  However, it also asks for height and weight to compute your BMI or Body Mass Index, which basically tries to tell you if you're overweight or not.  I have a huge issue with people using just height and weight to decide if you're obese or not.  According to the USDA, I am slightly overweight, like 1-2 points into that category.  I've said it before, yes I know I can loose some weight.  However, I don't think I'm "overweight".  I think I'm healthy and athletic.  I just had a physical and they had me in the medium build area and I came through with flying colors (pretty much in the "perfect" or "good" numbers for everything from pulse and blood pressure to all the blood sample tests).  So, I am very skeptical when someone or a website is telling me I'm not in a healthy range strictly because of my height and weight.  Remember... muscle weighs more than fat.

Overall, I think the MyPlate idea is better than the pyramid, but I never stopped before deciding on dinner to think about the pyramid and if what I was eating fell into those standards.  I'm not going to worry about my dinners now and if they match the MyPlate, but I am trying to eat more veggies and fruits, and just healthier overall.  I will not be following it to a T or worrying if the government thinks I'm overweight or not.  My dinner's my own, my body's my own.

Obviously, these opinions are my own and there are plenty of articles out on MyPlate that both praise and criticize the new dietary plan.  You can go out and look at the USDA's website and other sites that have reviewed the plan to go make your own decisions.  Another article I looked at was a review on Esquire you can find here.

So, what do you think of the MyPlate plan?  Do you follow it or at least try to?

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