With all the controversies about what we should be eating, and differences of opinions in the on what constitutes a healthy diet and what is not; most health experts today agree on one thing: that we should be adding more servings of fruits and vegetables to our diet every day.
Thinking about healthy diet in this manner doesn’t adequately address the severe health crisis that we in today.
Adding a cup or two of fruits and veggies to the diet that most of us are eating today is not going to be a big enough change to produce any noticeable results.
What we need to do, is to make these unrefined, plant-based foods – fruits, vegetables, greens, seeds, nuts, and beans – the central focus of our diet.
We must overload our bodies with the nutrients that these foods provide in order to heal any ailments that we have and to prevent disease from afflicting us in the future.
Food has always been a subject of frequent debate and lots of controversies. Cultural and emotional issues are at stake, not to mention the commercial interests of entire industries.
The fact that monetary interests have influence over the food pyramid and recommended daily portions (RDAs) is truly unfortunate.
The results of this food politics has been deteriorating health of entire populations that are now suffering with obesity, high blood sugar/diabetes, hearth disease, asthma, allergies, acne and other skin problems, high cholesterol, and various forms of cancer.
So what should the healthy food pyramid look like?
The pyramid that you see represented in the illustration below emphasizes the consumption of fresh vegetables, greens and fruit. These food groups are the healthiest food choices for humans, and yet they are notoriously under-represented in food recommendations and our daily diets.
What’s wrong with the official healthy eating recommendations?
The USDA nutritional guide is often criticized and even viewed as a joke among serious nutritionists. (The new MyPlate recommendations are a significant improvement, although still have some shortcomings.)
What makes it even more frustrating that most Americans are not even meeting its watered-down nutritional recommendations. A study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Cancer Institute demonstrated that most Americans are not eating the daily recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables suggested by the USDA diet guideline.
But perhaps many Americans did follow the Food Pyramid and that’s why they ended up sick and overweight!
Here is why:
The biggest bottom portion of the USDA food pyramid is occupied by grains. People are being told to consume 6-11 portions of breads, pastas, and other grain products every day – and most of us do. These products are ubiquitous, and most people eat them at every meal and in between as snacks. Unfortunately, most of these foods are not healthy and should be eliminated from the diet completely. The refined grains are worst, but even the “whole grain” products are not as healthy as most people think.
The amount of animal protein needed is also over-emphasized. According to the current recommendations, we should be eating up to 6 servings per day. However, there are many experts who warn about the dangers of consuming too much of animal foods as a factor contributing to various degenerative diseases. Many of them argue that going on a vegetarian diet or as close to vegetarian is best for optimal health. Limiting the consumption of animal protein is certainly a great way to improve your health.
The official recommendations never tell us *NOT* to eat certain foods. Like telling people not to white flour, sugar or drink sodas. Food business is just too big and powerful, and they will never allow that.
There is no way around it: for superior health, we must eat more nutrient-rich foods and fewer calorie-rich foods. The bottom of the pyramid should therefore be occupied by the foods that are rich in micronutrients: vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts and seeds. Foods at the top of the pyramid should be consumed rarely, or not at all.