The new official recommendations get some things right, and some things wrong.
For years, the food pyramid guide was the “gold standard” for nutritional advice, despite being obviously lacking in nutritional wisdom. Likely, however, that was the extent of the education many people received on how to eat. The food pyramid, of course, rested on a bed of grains and starches, followed by somewhat equal portions of vegetables, fruits, dairy, and meats. At the top were things like butter, oil, nuts, and sweets.
The conventional wisdom is slow to change. Thoughts on nutrition were upended multiple times, and our knowledge about what foods were beneficial versus what foods might not be beneficial expanded exponentially before anything ever changed on the official food pyramid guide, or with official recommendations.
Fortunately though, things have changed, and certainly for the better. The newer Choose My Plate website features lots of good––and official––dietary advice promulgated by the USDA.
My Plate promotes a far more equal proportion of grains to vegetables to fruit to protein. Dairy is recommended in moderation. This is certainly in contrast to the food pyramid, which for years promoted a diet rich in grains and starch. Ultimately, we have seen what such a diet yields, as our nation’s health has collectively worsened. My Plate has sought to fix some of those outdated recommendations.
Is Something Missing?
For all its improvements, My Plate still likely gets a few things wrong.
My Plate still seems intent on promoting grains as a primary source of food for most people. The only distinction noted within the recommendations of what constitutes a good grain vs. a bad grain is the distinction between whole grains vs. processed grains.
This, of course, is more of the same advice.
Grains, such as wheat (even whole wheat), are something many people already seek to eliminate for a few reasons, typically the carbohydrate content and the presence of gluten. Even these reasons, however, miss the point that grains are often contaminated with mold poisons, known as mycotoxins––among the reasons they are eliminated on the Kaufmann Diet.
Still, My Plate misses all of these reasons.
Instead, whole grains are promoted largely for their fiber content.
Fiber, however, is available from numerous other sources, such as nuts, berries, vegetables, and avocados––all acceptable foods on the Kaufmann Diet.
My Plate also misses some important distinctions about fruit, promoting fruit in equal proportions as protein. It fails to take into account that many fruits are much higher in sugar than others.
This is something the Kaufmann Diet does take into account. High amounts of sugar, even sugar from natural, “healthy” foods, like certain fruits, could exacerbate an underlying fungal infection––another thing the Kaufmann Diet seeks to address.
Some fruits, like melons, oranges, and pineapples, are much higher in fructose––the sugar found naturally in fruit––than others. This might be something you would seek to eliminate or at least enjoy in moderation. Instead, focus on fruits like berries, tomatoes, avocados, lemons, limes, and grapefruit. These contain many of the same benefits as sweeter fruits while mitigating sugar intake.
Overall though, My Plate guidelines certainly addressed some of the shortcomings of the food pyramid.