Breaking Down The USDA Food Pyramid

ChooseMyPlate.Gov - Dietary Guidelines for Americans, USDA scientists, nutrition experts, staff members, and food  consultants. Choose MyPlate eating program to loose weight.

The USDA’s new food Pyramid called MyPyramid had many builders. Some are obvious – USDA scientists, nutrition experts, staff members, and consultants. Others aren’t. Intense lobbying efforts from a variety of food industries also helped shape the pyramid.

In theory, the USDA food pyramid should reflect the nutrition advice assembled in theDietary Guidelines for Americans. According to the USDA, the guidelines “provide authoritative advice for people two years and older about how good dietary habits can promote health and reduce risk for major chronic diseases.”

This document, which by law must be revised every five years, aims to offer sound nutrition advice that corresponds to the latest scientific research. The panel assembled to create the guidelines usually generates 100 or so pages of dense nutrition-speak. This document is translated into a reader friendly brochure aimed at helping the average person choose a balanced and healthy diet. Of far greater importance, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans set the standards for all federal nutrition programs, including the school lunch program, and helps determine what food products Americans buy. In other words, the guidelines influence how billions of dollars are spent each year. So even minor changes can hurt or help a food industry. USDA food pyramid

According to federal regulations, the panel that writes the dietary guidelines must include nutrition experts who are leaders in pediatrics, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and public health. Selecting the panelists is no easy task, and is subject to intense lobbying from organizations such as the National Dairy Council, United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association, Soft Drink Association, American Meat Institute, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and Wheat Foods Council.(1)
Released in early January, 2005, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 continues to reflect the tense interplay of science and the powerful food industry. Several of the new recommendations represent important steps in the right direction:

o The new guidelines emphasize the importance of controlling weight, which was not adequately addressed in previous versions. And they continue to stress the importance of physical activity. This is represented by the steps and the person climbing them, as a reminder of the importance of daily physical activity. USDA food pyramid

o The recommendation on dietary fats makes a clear break from the past, when all fats were considered bad. The guidelines now emphasize that intake of trans fats and saturated fats should be as low as possible. The guidelines recommend choosing fat sources from fish, nuts and vegetable oils while limiting solid fats like butter, stick margarine, shortening and lard.
o Instead of emphasizing “complex carbohydrates”, the new guidelines urge Americans to limit sugar intake and they stress the benefits of whole grains. ChooseMyPlate.Gov

Below are a few guidelines that need further review according to the Harvard School of Public Health

o The guidelines suggest that it is fine to consume half of our grains as refined starch. That’s a shame, since refined starches behave like sugar. They add empty calories, have adverse metabolic effects, and increase the risks of diabetes and heart disease.

o In terms of protein, the guidelines continue to lump together red meat, poultry, fish, and beans (including soy products). They ask us to judge these protein sources by their total fat content, “make choices that are lean, low-fat, or fat-free.” This ignores the evidence that these foods have different types of fats. It also overlooks mounting evidence that replacing red meat with a combination of fish, poultry, beans, and nuts offers numerous health benefits.

o The recommendation to drink three glasses of low-fat milk or eat three servings of other dairy products per day to prevent osteoporosis is another step in the wrong direction. Of all the recommendations, this one represents the most radical change from current dietary patterns. Three glasses of low-fat milk add more than 300 calories a day. This is a real issue for the millions of Americans who are trying to control their weight. What’s more, millions of Americans are lactose intolerant, and even small amounts of milk or dairy products give them stomachaches, gas, or other problems. This recommendation ignores the lack of evidence for a link between consumption of dairy products and prevention of osteoporosis. It also ignores the possible increases in risk of ovarian cancer and prostate cancer associated with dairy products. Choose My Plate.Gov

The Harvard School of Public Health Healthy Eating Pyramid summarizes the best research based dietary information available today ( It isn’t set in stone, though, because nutrition researchers will undoubtedly turn up new information in the years ahead. The Healthy Eating Pyramid will change to reflect important new evidence.

ChooseMyPlate.Gov – Jeanette Jenkins, founder and president of The Hollywood Trainer(tm), is a Nike Elite Athlete and the official spokesperson for B.E.T Foundation’s “A Healthy BET.” Her expertise as a fitness and nutritional consultant has been featured on, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Extra, Access Hollywood, M.S.N.B.C, EDiets, ivillage, The Tyra Banks Show, the Food Network, V.H1, and on the BET network. Her work has been profiled in People, O Magazine, InStyle, Fitness, Shape, Self, Redbook, Glamour, CosmoStyle, and Essence, among other magazines. She writes regular columns for the Los Angeles Daily News, Urban Influence Magazine, Precious Times and just to name a few. She has worked with many celebrities including Queen Latifah, actress Taryn Manning, swimsuit model Amy Weber, and several NFL and  NBA athletes. Jenkins studied human kinetics at the University of Ottawa, Canada, and holds more than 17 international certifications covering nutrition and various fitness training methods.

8 Weight Loss Program Tips You Need To Know

ChooseMyPlate.Gov – Have you ever attempted to lose fat many times, just to gain everything back again? You’re not the only person that has experienced that. Fat, fat and fat is always be a problem for most of us.

Plenty of people want to shed weight but struggle to remain faithful to a program.. Listed below are 8 helpful hints to guide you whenever getting started with a weight loss program.

1. Make A Decision. Before you start a weight loss program, there are a few tasks you will need to do. First and most important: To succeed you really will need to COMMIT. When you are not dedicated to changing undesirable eating habits along with sticking to the program you choose, then you will not be able to achieve your current milestones.

2. Set up objectives that happen to be sensible. If you happen to give yourself extremely hard targets, you could easily be frustrated and your determination will fail. To support yourself in sustaining the commitment level needed to make positive changes to way of life, do research to determine what speed of weight loss is sensible to expect for your current height, weight along with physical activity levels. Set your own desired goals keeping that in mind. ChooseMyPlate.Gov

3. Jump start your weight loss program using a detox. Starting your weight loss program utilizing an herbal cleanse will allow you to clean out your system, getting rid of it of toxins in addition to assisting your current metabolic, digestive system and immune systems. This kind of wide spread strategy will permit one’s body to enable you to better absorb nourishing substances, and when coupled with eating and working out will support weight loss efforts.

4. Record the foods you eat. One of the main aspects of any sort of weight loss program ought to be knowing and knowing the items you are consuming. Using a food tracker as well as food selection planner, for example, will help. Monitor your diet every day so you know exactly where your current calories are often originating from. Soda pops, fruit drinks and unhealthy goodies are frequently connected with purposeless calories that could just be cut down. Food scheduling will allow you to choose to change healthier (and quite often TASTIER) food items and also refreshments.

5. Ease into activity. In cases where exercise isn’t a huge part of your life, then don’t try and turn into a bodybuilder overnight. Remember — determination is essential. Easing towards a workout program, while gradually establishing strength in addition to including a new challenge in your weight loss program, will help you to not get burned out.

6. Ingest breakfast straight away each and every morning. Ingesting your morning meal once you get up, regardless if it’s just a simple and fast meal replacement shake, is going to do wonders for your weight loss program. Skipping breakfast could possibly impede metabolism and lead to overindulging later through the day. Ensure the breakfast you select provides extensive proteins. ChooseMyPlate.Gov

7. Make use of the right dietary supplements. While you’re attempting weight loss, deciding on supplements that really help burn off fat and transform energy can help you obtain your milestones.

8. Do not stop after the “program” is completed. When you’ve chosen a weight loss program that has a set beginning & ending time, like a 24 day challenge, your dedication to improved fitness and well-being shouldn’t end following those 24 days. It also won’t finish as soon as you achieve your weight loss objective. Your healthier life style should be an ongoing decision if you wish to keep the excess fat off. ChooseMyPlate.Gov

Ready to give a boost to your own weight-loss? Join and Try out the 24 Day Challenge! Discover what is Advocare & see the reason why their products have helped folks loose 1000′s of pounds.ChooseMyPlate.Gov

Weight Loss Programs for Kids

ChooseMyPlate.Gov - Food Groups Online, Daily Food Plan – USDA Publication for Nutrition Education – Healthy Eating, Nutrition facts, Kid’s Food and Nutritional information

Most everyone is aware of the obesity fact that two-thirds of the American population is overweight and one-third of those individuals are obese. These statistics are for both children and adults according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). And while most everyone is aware of the ways to lose weight through old-fashioned calorie restriction and increased activity, most people may be unaware that this strategy is best for adults but not for children.

So what is the best weight loss program for kids? How does a parent or caregiver of an overweight or obese child help with weight loss? Read on to learn more.

Weight loss programs for kids are unique from adults because of essential nutrition a child needs for good health. Weight loss in general requires eliminating excess calories from the diet that is normally needed for a healthy weight. The scientific fact that one pound of fat equals 3500 calories will never change. Eliminating calories to lose excess fat or body weight requires a restriction in daily intake, an increase in physical activity above normal activities, or a combination of both. When calories are restricted, nutrition may suffer as well.

The nutritional needs of a growing child are dependent on age. Regardless of the age of the child, it is not safe to restrict calories unless supervised by a medical profession such as a doctor or dietician.

A better approach for weight loss programs for kids is to provide a nutritionally balanced meal plan with the appropriate calories for the child’s age and to encourage increases in physical activity.

Here are some tips for parents and caregivers to help reduce weight in children.

Know a normal body mass index for your child. Body mass index is a standardized measurement of a healthy weight range for children and adults. Body mass index is more accurate than the bathroom scale because it takes into account the height as well as the weight of the individual. Also, body mass index provides a range rather for a healthy weight rather than a simple reading. This range allows for individual flexibility in weight rather than a strict number to try to maintain. You can measure your child’s body mass index by using this calculator

Learn the amount of daily calories needed for your child. The MyPyramid resource is excellent for learning the amount of daily calories your child needs for a healthy weight based on age. You can use this tool from the MyPyramid site as a reference: Once you know the recommended amount of daily calories for your child, you can provide healthy daily meals that stay within these recommendations. Maintaining the required calories for your child will prevent excess weight gain.

Establish good eating and exercise habits young. It is never too early to show your child proper nutrition and exercise. Remember as parents and caregivers we are the primary teachers for our children. Being a positive role model is a big responsibility but it also has rewards. For example, you gain the same healthy benefits as your child the more you practice good habits. And even simple daily tasks help burn calories. Plus, being a positive role model is like free insurance that provides peace of mind because your child takes the good habits with them even when they are around their friends. In fact, establishing good habits young may prevent your child from negative peer pressure!

Stock the house with healthy food choices. We are all victims of our environment. When the food pantry or fridge is stocked with high calorie foods and we’re hungry or bored, it is a good chance we’ll eat what is available. Besides young children cannot drive to the grocery store and must depend on others to stock the house with healthy foods. ChooseMyPlate.Gov

Learn and teach your child how to use food labels. Make a game out of shopping by showing your child the food label. Give a prize for healthy choices selections of low-fat and high nutritional value. Shopping with children can be especially challenging because grocery stores and packages are designed to catch children’s attention. The average height of the shopping cart which gives your child an eye-level view of foods packaged with images of popular cartoon characters can be very enticing to children. Use these marketing strategies to your advantage by comparing food labels of healthier foods and reward your child for good choices.

Limit fast food. It is no surprise that Americans eat on the run and our children are doing the same. Fast food restaurants make it easy for us to eat on the run with many open 24 hours a day and accepting credit and debit card through drive-through service. And while you may need to eat at fast food restaurants do some homework and look for types that provide healthy food choices such as salads, grilled meats, and special cooking requests. There are also many traditional restaurants that offer curbside service which provide better selections for healthy eating. Weight loss programs for kids

These lifestyle tips are important to help your child establish good eating habits and reach a healthy normal weight range for his or her age. These tips are also good references for adults to reach and maintain a healthy body mass index. Rather than trying another weight loss program for children, by using these tips, you will teach your child healthy habits for life. Choose My Plate.Gov

ChooseMyPlate.Gov -  Georgene Dana Collins is a registered nurse who educates the public on safe natural weight management strategies. Drawing from her personal experience with obesity as well as her professional training, Georgene shares how she lost over 140 pounds and manages her weight since 2005 using the most current researched information. Georgene is a PhD learner and researcher committed to educating the public on long-term weight loss and weight management strategies. To learn more about safe and effective weight loss go to Check with your doctor before making changes to your health.