Tuesday, April 26, 2005

USDA Dietary Recommendations

USDA Pyramid
After considering the four healthy lifestyle recommendations yesterday, I thought I'd take a look at what the USDA now recommends in my diet.

I have to say I'm not fond of the new food pyramid. After years of working in academia and the federal goverment, I know that this represents the best current scientific recommendations we have, and it's terribly difficult to produce anything like this that has to go through umpteen layers of bureaucracy, get passed by a bazillion reviewers and stand up to the merciless scrutiny of the food industry lobbyists. Nevertheless, this bears all the hallmarks of being produced by a committee. It has no intrinsic meaning when you look at it - how would anyone know that this had to do with FOOD? What does the orange segment mean? The blue segment - blue FOOD? And what's with the pointy things for hands and feet - some new government disability initiative? And why is one pointy foot poking into a riser instead of a step? But that aside....

Their personalized recommendations for my diet are as follows:

Based on the information you provided and the average needs for your age, gender and physical activity [Age: 47, Sex: female, Physical Activity: 30 to 60 Minutes] your results indicate that you should eat these amounts from the following food groups daily.
Your results are based on a 2000 calorie pattern*.

Grains: 6 ounces

Vegetables: 2.5 cups
Fruits: 2 cups
Milk: 3 cups
Meat & Beans: 5.5 ounces

Make Half Your Grains Whole - Aim for at least 3 whole grains a day
Vary Your Veggies - Aim for this much every week:
  • Dark Green Vegetables = 3 cups weekly
  • Orange Vegetables = 2 cups weekly
  • Dry Beans & Peas = 3 cups weekly
  • Starchy Vegetables = 3 cups weekly
  • Other Vegetables = 6 1/2 cups weekly

Oils & Discretionary Calories - Aim for 6 teaspoons of oils a day
Limit your extras (extra fats & sugars) to 265 Calories

I think these are somewhat helpful guidelines, but I'm pretty certain that I'm not eating anywhere near the vegetables they recommend. I can say right now that my diet has never been real strong on bok choi, tofu, hubbard squash (WTF is that?), wax beans, or kale. Probably it never will be. Actually, I'm not even sure if they sell those things at the local 7-11. Do you think a Slurpee or strawberry Twizzlers counts as a fruit? ;-)


Oldman said...

Slurpee is a protein...along with meat and beans...

Comm's said...

Hi Nancy, I just surfed over to say hi and Mistress is telling me dinner is ready and the Mighty Mo is calling for his daddy.

I look forward to reading your USDA post later, until then have a good day.

runr53 said...

He wonders what that "food pyramid" tastes like cause he's on a "see food" diet and just got done with his midweek semi long runchasing his 20 years his junior nephew, oh a carrot... Thanks Nancy!