But, finally, they're saying adios to Pyramid in favor of Plate. Plate is easy. Plate is a concept anyone can grasp, from a school age kid, maybe even PRESCHOOL, to the seniorest citizen on oxygen and multiple meds. We eat off plates. We GET plates.
Karen O knows, as do I, as do those who read REFUSE TO REGAIN, the author (Dr. Barbara Berkeley) recommends PLATE PATTERN: Your plate be 1/4 lean protein source and 3/4 fruits and vegetables. As an I.R./Metabolic Syndrome/PreDiabetic diagnosed person, that's actually the ideal way for me to eat. Most meals are pretty darn close to that, though I do use dairy.
The USDA Food Plate is not exactly like that, but kinda close:
...a simple, plate-shaped icon, which is sliced into portions for basic food groups - fruits and vegetables take up half the space. The plate symbol will be announced by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Thursday.Teaching people not some fuzzy concept in a pyramid, but showing them, "This is what your plate should look like" is a GREAT idea. Whether people will or won't, well, you can bring a horse to water, yadda yadda. But with a portioned plate, no one with a functioning brain can say they don't GET it.
The fruit, vegetables, grains and protein sections are colored individually. There is a small circle next to the place for milk, yogurt or other similar products.
Advocates of fresher foods, clean eating, wholesome diet, local and organic natural eating, etc, will rejoice. But some manufacturers are gonna have a hard time fitting themselves on the plates. As Dr. Berkeley writes:
But this easy formula presents a problem for the people who process and package foods. Where do cereals, all that soy stuff, all those crackers and breads and bagels fit in? What about those nice fatty steaks that come from the CAFOs where they stuff cows full of grain? What about premium ice cream, candy and cake? What about all those corn based products (corn is a grain, not a vegetable)? The answer is simple. They don't fit in, so they need to be relegated to the Itty Bitty Consumption category. But companies that make millions producing these foods are not interested in itty bitty sales.
The Food Plate, with modifications for our dietary issues--no gluten, limited starches (potato, sweet potato, some rice, especially for hubby who has a hard time keeping weight on once we gave up most starches, fewer for me)-- suits us pretty much. We've moved to a more whole foods, clean foods, organic foods, natural meats, veggie and fruit profile. I've given up, for the most part, the canned and boxed goods I used to rely on for convenience. I shop the outer perimeter of the grocery store--dairy, eggs, poultry/meat, produce, nuts, nut butters (I get the organic refrigerated ones from Whole Foods that are in the produce section from local Glaser Organic Farms, yum). I order my coconut oil and true cinnamon online. I order our toilet paper (Green Forest, recycled) online.
I no longer use the prepackaged hot cakes, the protein bars, the cereals, the canned soups (with exceptions, as when I'm sick, still gotta have some, cause I ain't cooking soup with colds/flu), the mac/cheese or pasta boxes. I have lots to give to the food pantry, actually, as even hubby won't eat pasta now (I kept buying Dreamfields and Fiber Gourmet --higher fiber, resistant starch, so they said-- for him).
I only need to visit the inner aisles for EVOO, spices, seasonings, tomato sauce/paste, paper products, water/beverages. I spend very little time in the frozen section. Pretty much only need to get frozen fruits (for smoothies) and veggies (for convenience) and the occasional sugar-free frozen treat.
Plate Pattern or Food Plate--easy to grasp, right?
And honestly, when I adhere to Plate Pattern, I lose or don't gain.
When I broadly deviate from my R.D. plan--which mirrors Dr. Berkeley's Plate Pattern, in that the emphasis is on lean proteins, lighter on fat, heavy on produce-- I stall and gain.
I have deviated--too much protein and fat, not enough measuring-- and am stalling. Transgression are paid for, be they legal or food. I gotta get back to PATTERN and PLATING.
Do you like the Food Plate or Plate Pattern?
What's your plate look like these days?