Healthy eating gets a makeover

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oneh2obabe
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Healthy eating gets a makeover

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Healthful eating has a new symbol: the plate.

After nearly two decades of promoting a sensible diet through the food pyramid, officials in the U.S. last week retired the icon, calling it too complicated and confusing.

Instead, they are offering the plate, a stylized, colourful and simple design that encourages people to think of the food groups in terms of proportion rather than servings.

The idea, said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, was to create “an uncomplicated symbol to help remind people to think about their food choices in order to lead healthier lifestyles.”

American health and food experts are lauding the change as a big step forward in light of the growing obesity epidemic in that country. And already, their Canadian counterparts are taking notice.

While Health Canada says it has no plans to revamp Canada’s Food Guide For Healthy Eating, some diet and design experts say it could be time to replace our food “rainbow” — the shape adopted by the guide in 1992 — with the more user-friendly plate.

“I would love for our next food guide to include that visual,” said Jean LaMantia, a registered dietitian based in Toronto.

There’s nothing wrong with the current guide in terms of content, she said, noting all the science and recommendations are up-to-date. Still, few people seem to consult the rainbow after leaving grade school, “so maybe something new and fresh-looking would invite people to look again,” she said.

And though it is detailed, the rainbow design is also abstract, she said. “How do you translate the rainbow into what to actually prepare?”

The plate, on the other hand, is easy to remember and apply when meal time rolls around, said Laurel Swenson, art director with Canister Creative, a graphic design firm in Vancouver that works with the health industry. After all, it’s a familiar shape.

In comparison, the rainbow “looks dated” and too cluttered to get its message across, Swenson said. “It’s not very memorable and it looks like a textbook drawing,” she said.

To communicate information effectively, it’s better to present ideas in their simplest form so they’re more easy to digest, she said.

Health Canada spokesman Stéphane Shank said the existing design was chosen through consultations with stakeholders and has received positive feedback over the years.

The rainbow includes four arcs, each a different colour and representing a food group. Inside each arc are images of foods belonging to that food group.

The larger sections are grains and vegetables, to emphasize “the role these foods play in a healthy eating pattern,” Shank said in an email.

“At this time, there is no formal schedule to change Canada’s Food Guide but Health Canada continues to consider key elements of the food guide to determine when and if an update might be appropriate,” he said.

Generally, updates reflect changes in dietary guidelines or the country’s eating habits, he said. He wouldn’t say whether the ministry would consider switching to the plate.

The U.S. plate is split into four sections, with fruits and vegetables taking up half the space and grains and protein—a category that includes meat, seafood, eggs and beans—accounting for the rest. The biggest portions are vegetables and grains.

A circle next to the plate stands in for dairy, which includes milk, yogurt or cheese.

“It’s more symbolic than explanatory,” Swenson said. “And the key thing—it’s memorable.”

Of course, the plate alone isn’t enough. In the U.S., it’s merely the focus of a multi-year and -platform campaign to highlight simple changes people can make to improve their diet.

A more complex version of the plate design is already used by the Canadian Diabetes Association.

LaMantia said she hopes scientists at Health Canada will be paying attention to what’s happening south of the border as the campaign unfurls.

If data show people are making more use of the plate because of its visual appeal, it may be enough to justify giving the food guide a makeover, even if the content stays the same, she said.

The latest version of Canada’s food guide was released in 2007 and clarified issues related to portion sizes, among other things.

http://www.healthzone.ca/health/dietfit ... a-makeover
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grammafreddy
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Re: Healthy eating gets a makeover

Post by grammafreddy »

The Plate ...

Image

Makes sense to me. I'd be making the veggies much larger, though ...
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eMeM
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Re: Healthy eating gets a makeover

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A while back (maybe a month ago?) I had read somewhere that even the people in charge of this new logo said it likely wouldn't make a difference. Talk about a waste of money! Indeed, in my entire life (32 years) I've seen ONE food pyramid actually tacked to someone's fridge. IMHO, the US gov't (and ours as well) should be looking at how much radiation has worked it's way into the food supply rather than waste a bunch of money distracting people with a frigging plate icon. If they haven't been paying attention for the last twenty or so years how is this going to make a difference?
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UnknownResident
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Re: Healthy eating gets a makeover

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The plate should be split 50/50 veggies, meat/poultry/fish. A little bowl off to the side for fruit and the glass should be water.
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Re: Healthy eating gets a makeover

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UnknownResident wrote:The plate should be split 50/50 veggies, meat/poultry/fish. A little bowl off to the side for fruit and the glass should be water.


Ahh yes, but that wouldn't benefit the pharmaceutical companies leaching off the public after they suffer diet-induced illnesses like diabetes etc from too many refined grains and sugars.
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Captain Awesome
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Re: Healthy eating gets a makeover

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UnknownResident wrote:The plate should be split 50/50 veggies, meat/poultry/fish. A little bowl off to the side for fruit and the glass should be water.


Milk is good for you, you know. Even that watered down and full of chemicals version of milk they sell at stores.
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Re: Healthy eating gets a makeover

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Milk is just another protein source that's exceptionally high in fat.
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daria
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Re: Healthy eating gets a makeover

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Chris4242 wrote:Milk is just another protein source that's exceptionally high in fat.


Exactly.

Don't take my silence to mean I've agreed with you; I easily could've just lost interest in explaining how wrong you are.
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UnknownResident
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Re: Healthy eating gets a makeover

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Chris4242 wrote:Milk is just another protein source that's exceptionally high in fat.


Fat is the least of our worries.
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daria
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Re: Healthy eating gets a makeover

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UnknownResident wrote:
Chris4242 wrote:Milk is just another protein source that's exceptionally high in fat.


Fat is the least of our worries.


Not so. The saturated fats in animal products create the greatest health risks, including the Big Three: cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
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UnknownResident
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Re: Healthy eating gets a makeover

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daria wrote:
UnknownResident wrote:
Chris4242 wrote:Milk is just another protein source that's exceptionally high in fat.


Fat is the least of our worries.


Not so. The saturated fats in animal products create the greatest health risks, including the Big Three: cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.



That's incorrect information that as never had any scientific backing. Saturated fat intake has been more than cut in half, yet these diseases continue to rise. By the way, how does an old food, one we've been eating for millions of years, cause new diseases? It doesn't add up daria.
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daria
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Re: Healthy eating gets a makeover

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UnknownResident wrote:That's incorrect information that as never had any scientific backing. Saturated fat intake has been more than cut in half, yet these diseases continue to rise. By the way, how does an old food, one we've been eating for millions of years, cause new diseases? It doesn't add up daria.


Do you honestly think that the saturated fat in MEAT (and in dairy) has been cut when cattle are being fed the unnatural diet of corn (which their intestines are not prepared to digest!)? In fact, cattle are fed the corn in order to give cuts of meat that "marbled" (with saturated fat) look!

Take a look at the video I posted earlier in the thread. That doctor has been doing decades of research on the matter. In fact, here's his research.
Don't take my silence to mean I've agreed with you; I easily could've just lost interest in explaining how wrong you are.
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UnknownResident
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Re: Healthy eating gets a makeover

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daria wrote:
UnknownResident wrote:That's incorrect information that as never had any scientific backing. Saturated fat intake has been more than cut in half, yet these diseases continue to rise. By the way, how does an old food, one we've been eating for millions of years, cause new diseases? It doesn't add up daria.


Do you honestly think that the saturated fat in MEAT (and in dairy) has been cut when cattle are being fed the unnatural diet of corn (which their intestines are not prepared to digest!)? In fact, cattle are fed the corn in order to give cuts of meat that "marbled" (with saturated fat) look!

Take a look at the video I posted earlier in the thread. That doctor has been doing decades of research on the matter. In fact, here's his research.


I'm a believer that you can't get health by eating a sick animal. That being said I'm also very stubborn. Total saturated fat intake on average has went down around 50% since I believe the 60s. While our consumption of grains and polyunsaturated fats (both relatively new to our diet on our evolutionary timeline) has skyrocketed. Then someone comes along and says it's the saturated fat giving us all these NEW diseases?

I could sit here and cite 1,000 studies that say saturated fat is bad for you and 1,000 that say it's good for you. But I don't think it's necessary, I mean I've done the research, I know why these processed carbohydrates and rancid oils are killing us, but you don't even need to understand the science. The saturated fat in our diet myth has been around since the 50s thanks to Ancel Keyes, but it never had any credible scientific research. We've been eating animals and vegetables for along time, we've evolved to eat that stuff, it makes no sense to say that one of them is giving us any sort of health issues. (if you're eating free-range grass-fed stuff :127: )
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Captain Awesome
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Re: Healthy eating gets a makeover

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I was hoping that vegan hippie crap mixed with PETA wasn't going to be brought up...
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Re: Healthy eating gets a makeover

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Captain Awesome wrote:I was hoping that vegan hippie crap mixed with PETA wasn't going to be brought up...



It's not "hippy crap", there's a lot of misinformation out there. A little common sense goes a long way, even if you don't care/know/understand the science.

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