The Food Guide Pyramid is the Frugal Way
Grains are the cheapest food around. If you are getting the suggested amount of grains in your diet, especially with food made from scratch, you are on the right path toward frugality. As you go up the food guide pyramid, the foods get more expensive as they get more restricted. Vegetables, then fruits, are the next cheapest. As you get into meat and dairy, you are facing your most expensive foods, so as someone frugal, it is good advice to limit those. If you came here looking for a frugal tip for today, that was it.
Is It The Only Healthy Way?
Many people thrive eating by the food guide pyramid, and that's great. Most Americans don't live by the food guide pyramid, and many would do better if they did.
There are people in America that are thriving on diets other than the food guide pyramid, though. We have a growing number of vegans and vegetarians that our country recognizes as quite healthy. They cut out many sources of proteins and some even cut out the whole dairy category. We also have a low-carb movement, where a whole group of people cut out the grains and fruit from their diet. They are thriving on that diet.
Many people around the world have thrived on other diets, completely different from what the food guide pyramid promotes. Now, we have changed those diets for many, bringing in our processed foods with our industrialization. I think many Americans would be surprised at the high fat and protein diets that people lived on around the world until recently (Sub-Saharan Africa, Japan, Australia, Native America, England, Korea).
Is The Food Guide Pyramid For My Husband And I?
No. For our own health reasons, we are opting for a much higher protein diet. About half of what we eat is animal protein. I only publish my dinner menu, which is the meal we all share, so it is a compromise between our diet and the kids' diet. Most, but not all, of the carbs that my husband and I have throughout the day are in the dinner menu. For us, carbs include grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans, which are lumped with proteins in the food guide pyramid. My husband and I do not get the recommended amount of fruit, vegetables or grains. I get more fruits and vegetables than he does; he gets more grains than I do.
The "why," as well as the budgetary implications, behind our diets will be its own post some day. This post, though, is in response to assumptions that my children aren't being fed properly. I do take a prenatal vitamin to make sure I am getting the vitamins I need for my baby.
Is The Food Guide Pyramid For My Kids?
Yes and no. The food guide pyramid wants my kids to eat their way every day. That does not happen. They may eat only oatmeal on Wednesday and nothing but bananas on Thursday. Then we may have a cheese-beef day or a green bean day. Other days are models of a well-rounded diet. Most days are somewhere in between.
I focus on making sure their diet is well rounded by the week. I'm not too concerned about well rounded days, and I especially don't enforce well rounded meals, since we're a family of grazers. I doubt that most parents do enforce well rounded meals, if they are looking at the whole pyramid. If you do, why do you only ask about my veggies at dinner, and not fruit? You don't have to worry about my kids getting enough veggies or fruits, because they do. It may not be in the same fashion you feed your kids, but it is comparable in quantity.
Their diet will probably change as they get older and we are able to see more clearly how certain foods and types of foods affect their moods and concentration and overall health. But for now, we are aiming for well rounded for our kids.
Next Step In Health For Us:
For those not following the food guide pyramid, health is a step by step process, just as frugality and going green are, changing one thing at a time until we reach our own ideal. The next step for us is cutting out processed meats that contain nitrates, thanks to a reader tip. (I do read and investigate what you all tell me; your comments are meaningful to me and my life has benefited from them.) I found a polish sausage recipe that looks simple and my husband has agreed to let me try it to see if it satisfies his hot dog cravings. I'm psyched that he's giving it a chance and I'll keep you updated.
Is the Food Guide Pyramid for You?
Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But I would encourage people to really think about their own health ideals instead of taking the government's, or anyone else's, word for it.
I would also like people to at least consider that not everyone is going to live by the same standards they do, nor should they. As I write this blog, I don't expect anyone to do everything that I do. Physically, we're not all the same, we don't all have the same dietary needs, and I'm okay with that.
As with all posts, comments are very welcome as long as they pertain to this post. There have been people trying to spam the comments section. That is not welcome. Comments that only serve to demonstrate the commenter's low reading comprehension level will be deleted, as they cause confusion.