Will the U.S. make your favorite protein harder to get?
Many countries have their own version of the USDA’s food pyramid, which has been updated to a plate divided into four food groups with a glass of milk on the side. The old pyramid was confusing and suggested eating too many grains and fairly equal portions of protein and dairy. While the food plate is better, it needs improvement as it’s unclear as to the percentage of each food group a person should eat. In addition, many people wouldn’t categorize beans, nuts and peas as a protein since they contain very little protein (they should have their own category as legumes and nuts). Fats aren’t even listed on the new diagram.
There is now talk to change the guidelines on what to eat to maintain optimal health such as listing beef as a food to limit and possibly avoid since cows contribute to global warming. While I believe we all need to do our part to preserve our planet, we shouldn’t skew government nutrition guidelines for other reasons or causes, no matter how noble.
I didn’t eat any beef for five years for the sole reason that I didn’t believe beef was healthy either. It wasn’t until I read a full-blood panel that revealed my well-rounded diet didn’t provide sufficient iron intake. My doctor advised eating red meat once a week to up my iron levels. While supplements are available, food is our best and safest sources of vitamins and minerals.
What we eat is a personal choice and those choices should be based on facts, our likes, lifestyles, activities, budgets, dietary restrictions, and our beliefs. Everything in life has a positive and negative effect so we need to know both sides to make an educated decision. If our government wants to improve the nutritional information recommendations, I’m all for it, but tell us the truth for a change and let us make our own decisions on what and how much to eat. If people end up eating fewer beef burgers, let that be their choice they can be proud of.
Source: Los Angeles Times article titled, “A Food Fight on Climate; Carbon Politics May Embroil Nutrition Guidelines.” Pgs. A1 & A20 printed in the Sunday, January 18th 2015 paper.