The USDA recently released new food guidelines.
Goodbye, food pyramid. The new guidelines are illustrated by a plate that is divided into quarters - fruit, vegetables, grains, and protein. The plate is accompanied by a glass of dairy in the upper right hand corner. (1)
According to Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack, the plate has been designed to address the level of obesity in the United States:
- 2/3 of adults are overweight or obese.
- 1/3 of children are overweight or obese. (2)
While the plate does not indicate portion sizes, only food ratios, it does give America more visual encouragement to include veggies in every meal.
In the United States, processed, packaged foods dominate our plate and our palate. Animal products, like meat, dairy, and eggs, as well as carbohydrates, usually in the form of refined grains and refined sugars, have a tendency to comprise the entire meal.
80% vegetables, 20% grains and protein.
Body Ecology emphasizes the importance of ratios. This means that your digestive system has the most power and motility when you eat every meal with no more than 20% of it as protein and grains.
Constipation, less than one bowel movement a day, is extremely common in the United States and contributes to an overall toxicity in the body. Additionally, over-the-counter digestive aids are hugely popular. Proper food combining can alleviate many of the digestive issues that Americans suffer from.
If you are not ready to make any major changes in your diet, add something. Another great thing to add to the Standard American Diet is fresh raw salad. This is what Mikio Sankey, an Esoteric acupuncturist based in Los Angeles, consistently reminds his patients. His says that his mantra is “eat your greens”.
According to Sankey, diet is paramount to any other health care modality. How you eat affects your physical health and mental state. Too frequently, medical professionals and even alternative health care providers fail to emphasize this point with their patients and even in their own lives.
The state of most peoples’ diet is drastically estranged from the plant kingdom. Adding a raw salad would begin to waken up their palates to the flavors and life force found in vegetables, especially in raw leafy greens.
USDA suggestions are somewhat useful in that MyPlate includes real foods. Eating real food, in other words, food that is as close to its natural state as possible, is a significant aspect of controlling weight.
The guidelines also suggest to:
- Consume fewer calories.
- Make ½ of grains whole grains.
- Make the switch to fat free or low fat milk.
- Compare sodium in processed, pre-packaged food and choose food with the lowest numbers.
Calorie restriction has nothing to do with weight loss.
This idea has been in place and in practice for decades. If there was any value to it, the United States would not suffer from its so-called “obesity epidemic”. Calorie restriction is an outdated method used to qualify food and lose weight. Put simply, it does not work. Not really. Not for the long-term. What does work? Education and understanding the nutrient value inherent in the foods that we eat.
For example, whole grain foods are usually improperly prepared. This means that they are not soaked and sprouted at all. Or if they are, it is typically not for a long enough period of time, and these grain products still contain phytic acid. Phytic acid inhibits the absorption of calcium, which the USDA indicates is found in dairy. Calcium is one of the reasons why the USDA recommends dairy.
Whole grains not only bind to essential minerals but also produce toxins that damage the lining of the gut. In addition, many people eat whole grain wheat products, following USDA guidelines, unaware that they are gluten sensitive.
Fat does not make you fat.
The most calories per gram of food are found in fat. Maybe this is why the USDA also suggests drinking low fat and fat free milk. However, because we know that calorie restriction means little in regards to weight loss, we also know that full fat, grass-fed raw milk is far healthier than any pasteurized reduced fat milk. In fact, if any food has been so modified to change its fat content, this is a sure indication to avoid it.
- Healthy fats are essential to producing hormones and maintaining the integrity of cell walls, which are partially made up of fat.
- Full fat, grass-fed raw dairy and meat contain important, healthy fatty acids.
- Good fats, like omega 3 fatty acids, are not emphasized in the USDA MyPlate.
- An overuse of refined oils is partially responsible for the national “obesity epidemic” that MyPlate addresses.
Refined seed oils, like safflower, sunflower, soy, and corn oil are mostly rancid, meaning that they cause oxidative stress and contribute significantly to the aging process. Because these oils are so widely used, the average American has highly elevated levels of omega 6 fatty acids in the body, which contributes to inflammation, insulin resistance, and even a properly functioning thyroid.
Can't decide what to eat to stay healthy? Here's a hint. Focus on adding fermented vegetables to your diet to boost healthy gut bacteria and naturally lose weight.
What does create fat? Sugar.
Especially the highly processed and refined sugars found on every supermarket shelf. Pre-packaged foods are laden with refined sugars and best avoided. Refined sugar includes organic agave nectar, which is found in many raw food products that have become popular in health food stores. If you are interested in losing weight, white table sugar is best avoided. Additionally, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is super sweet, inexpensive, commonly used, and best avoided.
Per gram, sugar has less calories than fat. The only place that the new USDA MyPlate addresses sugar consumption is in their suggestion to consume water over sugary beverages.
The amount of sugar that you may find in an apple or a cup of blueberries is not significant enough to cause major health problems like diabetes and obesity.
If you are not on Stage One of the Body Ecology Diet, fructose, or fruit sugar, is perfectly fine to eat in moderate amounts. However, remember that fructose and glucose are both found in table sugar. They are also both present in HFCS.
The issue with fructose is that unlike glucose, the cells do not immediately use it for energy. In fact, it is absorbed in the small intestine and goes straight to the liver, where it is converted into fat. This is why there is a condition called non-alcoholic fatty liver. It has to do with excess consumption of the sugar fructose.
What else about sugar causes weight gain?
Excess blood sugar prompts the body to make advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), which are pro-inflammatory. AGEs cause visible signs of aging, like wrinkles, and internally will cause structures to stiffen and harden. Inflammation actually promotes weight gain. If you are interested in losing weight, eat foods that cool the inflammatory process in the body.
Friendly bacteria are essential to weight loss.
This is because good bacteria in the gut:
- Modulate the systemic inflammatory response in the body by working with the immune system.
- Control sugar cravings.
- Compete with pathogenic bacteria for space in your gut. Pathogenic bacteria have been found to actually promote obesity and significant weight gain.
These friendly microorganisms can be found in traditionally fermented foods like kefir, kimchee, and sauerkraut. A good quality yogurt (the best is homemade with raw grass-fed full fat dairy) will also provide friendly bacteria with which to populate the gut.
Stevia Liquid Concentrate hits the sweet receptors on your tongue.
Stevia is 300 times sweeter than sugar. It is a natural sweetener that does not encourage your body to store fat, like fructose does. It also does not contribute to insulin resistance.
Excessive sugar consumption makes the body acidic and promotes pathogenic bacteria and fungal overgrowth. Stevia does just the opposite. When you replace stevia for sugar, you will find that your immune defenses are stronger and that minor points of inflammation, such as sinus congestion, allergies, and brain fog greatly diminish.
Reduce or completely eliminate sugar from the diet and introduce good bacteria.
This is often the turning point in a weight loss program and in one’s palate. However, making this transition is not always easy. This one of the reasons why Body Ecology has created a number of products, all of which are able to support each individual in their own dietary needs.
Changing your diet to include friendly bacteria and the 80/20 principle, while removing excess sugar, will not only reduce weight, but it will also increase energy and uplift the mood. The Body Ecology Core Programs offer essential dietary elements that will provide you with a consistent foundation as you make this lifestyle change.
What To Remember Most About This Article:
The USDA has introduced new dietary guidelines in place of the food pyramid in hopes of fighting adult and childhood obesity in the US. Fortunately, they recommend that Americans eat more veggies. Body Ecology also emphasizes eating 80% vegetables and 20% grains and proteins at each meal to promote healthy digestion.
However, the USDA also encourages Americans to eat fewer calories, which has nothing to do with weight loss. Instead of avoiding fat to lose weight, it’s essential to eat healthy fats to maintain healthy cells and support hormonal balance. Even more importantly, we must avoid refined sugars, which promote inflammation in the body and trigger weight gain. The simple solution to a healthy diet can be found in eating foods rich in good bacteria to control sugar cravings, support healthy digestion, and greatly reduce the risk of obesity.