Then why is the United States as a whole at its heaviest? Why are we arguably the least healthy country in the world? We watch shows like Biggest Loser and think, "They just need to use common sense and eat less." The truth is that people who aren't weighing in at Biggest Loser levels still don't really know that much about nutrition. I have been trying to learn more about nutrition lately. I can't say that my diet is amazing. In fact, it is pretty awful. But as my Anything for 10 Sister points out in relation to all situations, once your eyes have been opened to the truth, it is so much harder to continue on as you did in ignorance. So why do we know so little about diet and nutrition?
Think back to elementary school or high school health class. Do you remember that Food Guide Pyramid that they had you look at to teach you about nutrition? I love that old thing. Yes, those of you who think you are particularly up on your nutrition information are scoffing in your head because you already know that it has been replaced by the My Pyramid. You may remember the old one with the giant base section for breads, grains, and cereals. That is what I love about the old one. I absolutely love carbs. I even used to joke with my friends in college that I was on the all carb diet. I used the old pyramid to justify my carb addiction. Carbs aren't bad overall, but I wasn't eating the good crabs. The old pyramid did need revamping because it promotes the type of thinking I had. It is also that driving force that tricks people into buying the low-fat yogurt for example, instead of the light yogurt. You don't need to get rid of the fat, you need to get rid of the sugar, but the old pyramid made us think of fats as bad. Just like carbs, there are good fats and bad fats, and we all need healthy fats. The new pyramid is even less helpful than the original. It is often promoted just as the graphic without any nutritional information at all. Thanks, USDA!
But surely we can get the information we need if we just make sure we are well-rounded citizens who watch the news on a regular basis. They report all the newest medical findings that will guide us in the right direction. Wrong. Today on Good Morning America, they had two health and diet segments back to back. The first one I am calling the Goldilocks Coffee Report. It reported that a new study shows that 1-2 cups of coffee is juuuuuuust right for lowering your risk for heart disease by 11%! But more than two cups of coffee could be too much just like Papa Bear's bowl of porridge. Then they gave a report that I am going to call the Dunkin' Donuts Diet. This was where they reported that a new study shows that people who ate a sweet treat at breakfast lost more weight than people who stuck to a 300 or fewer calorie breakfast. Yes! Now, these both sound great in theory, but keep in mind that the two cups of coffee shouldn't be loaded with sugar, cream, or flavored syrups, which was not in the report they gave. And they were on the right track with the breakfast report because it is better to eat a large breakfast, than a large dinner, which is the norm in our culture. We need a paradigm shift on our eating habits in general.