Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Top Tip - Rethink the Four Food Groups

Just getting this out there as one of those things you should know about me . . . I have very little faith in the organizations shaping health and nutritional guidelines in this country.

Call me cynical, but they all seem to have strong ties with companies that benefit financially from selling us unhealthy food (junk food manufacturers, meat and dairy farmers) or that benefit financially from us being sick (pharmaceutical companies). I mean, just the fact that one agency oversees both food and drugs seems like a huge conflict of interest.

End of mini-rant and moving on . . . so where have the traditional food groups and food pyramid gotten us??? Fatter and sicker with each passing year. And that's why I chose to seek information from impartial, research-based sources rather than, for example, the American Dietetic Association, whose current sponsors (please click and see for yourself!) include Coca Cola, Hershey's and the National Dairy Council (just to name a few). Hmmm . . .

In the process of my research, I stumbled upon the Power Plate, which I think is an especially fun idea for teaching kids about the most nutritious foods. It defines the four basic food groups as fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains and provides tips and recipes for each group. Definitely check it out if you're trying to incorporate more of these health foods into your family's diet.