• Sumo

Ever since we were kids we probably got used to the same basic idea of what the food pyramid must look like. We saw the very bottom taken up by an exorbitant amount of grains, then the next level filled with fruits and vegetables, and on top of that we have meat and dairy with fats and sugars at the very top. But did you know that this model is sadly outdated? In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new version of the food pyramid. Let me introduce you to Choose My Plate.

For the longest time there seemed to be no reason to alter the food pyramid as it just always seemed to be a pretty good indicator of what everyone needed, specifically children. Making the foundation of the entire structure adhere to the 6-11 servings of grains a day would ultimately be its outdoing, as well as the outdoing of many kids even today.

What we now know is that grains contain carbohydrates, and what carbs do best is provide energy. But when said energy is not expelled, the human body feels the need to store them away for another time, assuming that it will actually need them eventually and believing that any day now you could be without food and need some reserves. So it locks those carbs away in fat cells, but the only way to do that is convert said carbs into sugar. Thus, the body is forced to produce more insulin than ever, in some cases leading to type-II diabetes.

Basically, the old food pyramid had things set up rather wonky as there wasn’t a whole lot of reasoning behind everything, plus looking at a pyramid isn’t the best way to really grasp how much needs to be eaten in a day. That’s why the new version, called Choose My Plate, is set up to look like an actual dinner plate. You know, like that thing you’d actually see food put on. The emphasis here is more on making smart choices and balancing everything correctly, essentially showing in real proportions how things should look. Instead of “3-5 servings of this and 2-3 servings of that,” we can clearly see that fruits make up about a quarter of a plate and that dairy is the size of a glass.

The idea was championed by Michelle Obama, the current First Lady. To be honest, I’m actually extremely impressed by this new scale as it’s pretty darn easy to understand, especially for a kid. Instead of complicating things, it gets right to the heart of the matter and shows how much of one thing you need in relation to everything else, and that works great.

But enough about what I think, I want to know what you think. Do you feel that the new food pyramid is a step in the right direction? Or is it just a confusing mess? Sound off and let your voice be heard!