The Food Pyramid: Is it Still Relevant in today’s world?

The Food Pyramid: Is it Still Relevant in today’s world?

Food is one of the most common necessities of a human being. You need food to grow and to keep yourself healthy. One cannot survive without food as it is considered the prime source of energy. People do not have the same taste in food. They all differ in their food habits. If you create a survey, you will find that some people have a craving for spicy foods, others for sweet and sour. But one thing that stays constant is the nutrition provided. You need to have food that will give you a sufficient amount of carbohydrates, proteins and other important minerals and vitamins. For that, you need to consume everything in the right proportion. The Food pyramid helps us in doing so, which means you have to know – What is the Food Pyramid?

What is the Food Pyramid?

The food pyramid

Food Pyramid is a representative form of a pyramid that shows the suitable amount of food to be consumed every day from every basic group of food. It was first launched by the United States in 1992 and the agricultural department called it ” Food Guide Pyramid” or ” Eating Right Pyramid”.

The main objective is to find out if the food Pyramid is still relevant or not! The prime concern of this question is that it was launched quite a long time back and scientists and the agricultural department have come up with better improvements and methods these days. It is a question whether the food Pyramid will be still able to make a stand in front of these methods.

What happened to the food Pyramid?

The Food Pyramid Chart was launched in 1992 comprising all the necessary food nutritions. It was also known as the Balanced diet pyramid for making a balanced representation of food. In 2005, it got replaced by some casual pyramid with casual changes in it. 2011 had the best representation of a food chart by USDA’s MyPlate. The chart had four sections each for fruits, vegetables, grains and other forms of proteins. It also has a small circular section for the dairy items which are necessary for calcium supply in our body. So, the Americans renew the food pyramid every five years with some necessary changes in it. With repetitive changes in the Food Pyramid, we can say that it lost its value to people and scientists. 

Is the food Pyramid still relevant?

In clear words, the answer is no. 

If you observe the Food Pyramid Chart, you will find fat contents at the topmost point of the pyramid. Sweet and other fat contents make the pyramid unhealthy at the very beginning. Therefore, the department had to change it to make it a low-fat diet. Markets sold products like ” low fat” or “sugar-free” cookies adhering to the new changes in the pyramid. 

A few years later, the department came up with a conclusion that some fats like nuts, avocados, olive oil ( extra virgin) and nut butter are advantageous to the health of a person. Therefore, researchers added them to the list.

Another thing to mark out in the food Pyramid Chart is the ” breadbasket” near the base. It says that we should serve grains 6-11 times per day. This is too much for a world scared of carb intake. The department ordered for a change and now the changed guidelines advise 6 ounces of grains for consumption. It will give a total of 2000 calories each day.

Besides that, there are no specifications about whole grains in the pyramid. Whole grains are rich in nutrients and provide us with antioxidants, fibres and necessary vitamins. Oatmeal and quinoa count in the list of whole grains. They reduce the risk of cardiac problems, type II Diabetes and also colorectal cancer. So we can see whole grains are quite more advantageous than heavy grains.

Lastly, there was a huge emphasis on dairy products of milk, cheese and butter in earlier times. They were considered important for being the prime source of calcium. Later, studies concluded dairy products are not the sole and best source of calcium intake for humans. Some small seeds like poppy, chia and sesame have come out dense in nutrients and provide us with more calcium content. Some vegan foods like legumes, edamame, beans and tofu have been added to the list of calcium sources in a more nutritious way for a healthy diet.

What should be done instead?

As we can see, the agricultural department of USDA’s MyPlate ( https://www.myplate.gov/ ) makes quite a lot of flaws in every pyramid. So we should focus on the fruits and vegetables as mentioned on the plate. They are very nutritious and if taken in the right amounts they can give fruitful results to your body.

Not every diet suits everyone. We actually cannot set a particular diet for everyone. But we can extract the goodness from a healthy diet and benefit ourselves with rich and nutritious food. 

The food Pyramid before and after had a very clear aim and intention for its consumers. It has also focused on the protein diet of meat, eggs and fish and the dairy items in an appropriate way. Thus we can explain the importance of the food Pyramid in this way. 

Conclusion

The question ” Is the food Pyramid still relevant or not” has a final answer – No. The agricultural department makes changes and improvises it in a better way every five years which makes the Food Pyramid irrelevant with time. Although the diet chart and other eating guidelines made by the Americans, Food Pyramid and The USDA’s MyPlate cannot be the end for a healthy diet in the human lifestyle, they enhance the healthy food options for every individual in a balanced representation of the Food Pyramid Chart. Add colours and taste to your diet, considering the beneficial sides and enjoy your food.

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