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The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services issue a Food Pyramid Guide every few years, to help us in our food choices. It is not for weight reduction. In fact, it could lead to weight gain.

The reason for this paradox is that the lowest level of the pyramid emphasizes 6-11 servings a day of bread, cereal, rice and pasta. These are all manufactured carbohydrates and will contribute to weight gain. So in our view, that pyramid should be replaced by the one described here.

The optimum weight management pyramid emphasizes 6-11 servings of veggies, nuts, beans, and fruits. These are all naturally grown products. The majority of these choices should be those with a low glycemic index. (Hope you read the Sugar Busters article in a previous column!) Grains are at the second level but the choices should emphasize natural whole grains, not processed bread and pasta. Protein is at the third level, still good, and now you know why; it does not stimulate insulin and may provoke glucagon which is a fat buster. Finally, we must reduce our ‘sugar addiction’ as so aptly stated by the Hellers in the book, “Carbohydrate Addict”.

Two nutrition authorities, Drs. Paul LaChance and David Heber, both described the Right Stuff food pyramid. They differ somewhat in the details, but emphasize that fruits and vegetables deserve the place of honor at the base of the pyramid. This would be the diet of a herbivore, and stimulates us to think about food and the evolution of man. Did we come from the sea or the land? The sea has fish and vegetables, both healthy. The land has fruits and vegetables, also healthy, but fatty meats are not. Is this a moral message that we are deviating from our chosen evolution and are suffering the consequences of being a predator and carnivore?

So what should you eat now? Think Mediterranean.

More fruits and vegetables. See the book “Sugar Busters” for choices of low glycemic foods. Great source of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.

Whole grains. Such as oatmeal, whole grain bread, cereal grains. High fiber, good carbohydrate. Use olive oil. Makes good fats in the body. Ditto canola, and peanut oil. Good source of energy and protective against bad fats.

Eat good protein such as fat free yogurt, nuts, soy, fatty fish such as tuna, salmon, and sardines. Fish oils are omega-3, meaning; they are protective to the heart. Drink more tea instead of coffee. It is an antioxidant protective against cancer. Stimulates colon.

Avoid high glycemic carbohydrates, the primary cause of weight gain. Avoid animal meat; high cholesterol contributes to cardiovascular disease.

Our belief: Supplement and substitute high tech drinks, reputable herbal pills, and power bars to have guaranteed nutrition and insurance against subtle deficiencies.

Conclusion: Our food pyramid is only our country’s idea. There are also Mediterranean, Latin American, Asian and Vegetarian. There are answers everywhere!

RESOURCE GUIDE

“Eat, Drink and Be Healthy; the Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating” by Walter Willett. Also, “Sugar Busters”, and “Carbohydrate Addict”. Books can be easily accessed via internet book selling sites.

A Professor and Doctor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in New York City and Florida for the last 40 years, Dr. Harold Schulman has written a book called "Getting Answers" filled with forward thinking ideas about women's health. This material was derived from our forthcoming book "Getting Answers on Weight Management, It's not about Dieting, It's about Living" by Harold And Rosemarie Schulman.

 

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 192 - November 2017
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