Nutty nutrition guidelines
Sandy Szwarc at TCS says, Please Pass the Cake
As incredible as it sounds, nutrition is no longer the priority for the government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The new guidelines put the entire nation on a diet and its key message is “eat less and exercise more to lose weight.” This certainly isn’t an unprecedented idea, but decades of following this advice has also shown it doesn’t work. Tragically, the unsupportable and erroneous information about weight and nutrition in these new guidelines isn’t just innocuous, but will likely have harmful consequences far beyond any good it might do, especially threatening our children and elderly.
Understandably so, considering the guidelines say that “Each day we’re supposed to eat (women and men, respectively):
- 9 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables!
- 6 to 10 servings of grains.
- 5 1/2 to 7 ounces of meat or legumes.
- 3 servings of milk.
- 2 Tablespoons of oil.”
The Guidelines tell us a serving size is 1/2 cup of vegs, 1/2 cup of fruit, 1/2 cup of cereal, and 8 ounces of milk. Therefore, what the Guidelines propose is that you eat
- 4 1/2 to 6 1/2 cups of fruits and vegs
- plus 3 to 5 cups of grains
- plus 1 1/2 pints of milk
every day. Because of hypoglycemia I can’t tolerate more than 1 cup of starches/grains a day (remember, starches are metabolized as sugars), but I eat a lot of vegetables daily: at least 1 cup at lunch, and one at dinner, plus a salad at each meal, so trust me when I tell you that putting away a daily 4 1/2 to 6 1/2 cups of veg would constitute a gargantuan effort. Add 3-5 cups of grains and 1 1/2 pints of milk to that and you’re really talking consuming mass quantities, which will certainly lead to weight gain — unless you have the digestive capacity and the metabolism of that girl Michael was talking about the other day.
Additionally, we’re supposed to excercise for “at least 60 to 90 minutes of daily moderate-intensity physical activity” in order to sustain weight loss in adulthood.
Let’s do the math for an average person: 8 hrs of sleep (Yes, my sleep is sacred. Family members can attest to that.) 8 hrs of work; 1 hr commuting (if! you have a short, 1/2 hr commute); 2 hrs eating/preparing meals/cleaning up (assuming you have a dishwasher); 1 hr housekeeping; 1 hr grooming, showering, and, for those who have young children, attending to their grooming; that leaves 3 hours for interacting with other family members, blogging, food shopping, leisure time, etc., half of which the Guideliners want me to spend in the gym? Fat chance!
French culinarian, Julia Child used to call experts advising healthy eating “nutritional Nazis” and say: “Those people see no beauty in food. It’s a terrible thing. … I like real hamburgers and real meat, real butter. Eat everything. Have fun.”
I hear, ya, Julia.
PS, Speaking of food, Birdwoman‘s not having the turkey.