Yes! The Food Pyramid Has Finally Been Updated After 15 Years!
Due to growing nutrition confusion, Nutrition Australia have updated their food pyramid for the first time in 15 years. It also happens to be… Amazing! It is based on the 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines, and finally they have got it right! This is such an exciting and progressive change for Australians. It is also a new, positive step forward in the efforts to educate children in schools about food and diet-related illnesses. It is timed greatly with Jamie Oliver’s “Food Revolution”, and frankly I am quite excited!
As an advocate for alkaline foods, I am all about having vegetables and greens as the largest part of our meals. I also acknowledge some of the benefits of paleo diets and quitting sugar but see how it has all become quite confusing with these different diet plans. This pyramid really gets down to the shared philosophies of all these diets: Only eat whole foods. No processed junk. Nutrition Australia’s Lucinda Hancock states: “The new Pyramid cuts through the misleading information and fad diets that are getting so much attention, and provides Australians with a credible, flexible and realistic guide to eating well.” So here it is:
So what are the changes:
1. Vegetables finally have superiority over breads and cereals. Yay! There are so many greens! Basing your diet on alkaline foods. Win!
2. Fruits and veggies have a different balance now. The new pyramid calls for about three times as many veggies as whole fruit. This is exactly what I advocate at Celebrity Trainer – filling up on veggies first. It helps to distinguish the high sugar content of fruit and the need for more wholesome LOW GI vegetables.
3. The pyramid is now separated into five sections, not three, giving Aussies a much clearer image of what their diet should look like.
4. Margarine has been taken off the pyramid! Margarine is finally seen for what it is: chemical gunk.
5. Good fats are finally acknowledged as good. The old pyramid has margarine and reduced-fat spreads in the “sometimes” food. Now this spot is reserved for healthy fats like almonds and olive oil. Avocados are also included in the “eat most” section which is great.
6. More nutrient-dense whole grains are included. Like oats, quinoa, soba noodles.
7. It is based only on Whole Foods. There’s no junk food or added sugars at all. Not even in the “sometimes” area like the original pyramid. Another win!
8. I love that they mention nutrient-dense spices and herbs as well as water.
So Is There Anything Bad?
For a generic pyramid, not really. It is amazing as a general guide where it is impossible to cater for any individual requirements. Structurally, I think it should be flipped upside down. I know it is meant to be a pyramid, but naturally people read from top to bottom, and it would clarify it even more and bring the focus to the main aspect of the pyramid, which is vegetables.
For the foods mentioned, I think there’s still too much emphasis on grains. I tend to back off from them as there are other foods that are more nutrient-dense. Same with dairy products, and they have pictured soy milk even though the research on the dangers of unfermented soy are becoming known, but at least they have been changed to become a smaller part of the overall healthy eating pyramid.
So these are my thoughts on the new food pyramid, now I’m interested to know yours. Let me know in the comments below.