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American Food Pyramid

vapianogirl2553vapianogirl2553 Member Posts: 2 Member Member Posts: 2 Member
I find the amounts of things your supposed to get each day basically impossible to actually eat that much food. Is there any credible research that points to the nutritional advice being overkill? Do you really need 60 grams of protein for instance or the crazy amount of calcium that's typically recommended?

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  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 38,703 Member Member Posts: 38,703 Member
    60 grams of protein is pretty low...I'd say that's pretty minimal. The RDA for protein is a minimum to avoid protein deficiency, which is a thing. It's not even close to overkill. If you're losing weight and/or active, more is recommended as it preserves lean mass and when you're active substantially aids in repair of broken down tissues.

    4 oz of chicken (which isn't a lot of chicken...about 1/2 a breast at most) has around 35 grams of protein...more than 1/2 of the 60 grams.

    In general, I find the food pyramid or myplate to be adequate, but minimal in most of their suggestions.
    edited February 21
  • rosebarnalicerosebarnalice Member Posts: 3,078 Member Member Posts: 3,078 Member
    The American food pyramid was originally designed by the farm lobby to get Americans to eat more of what they were producing: namely meat, grains, and dairy.

    GO BIG BROCCOLI!!
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member, Premium Posts: 6,765 Member Member, Premium Posts: 6,765 Member
    There is no current American food pyramid, and I don't buy into any conspiracy theories about the pyramid that was, except I do think it was originally light on vegetable requirements and heavier on grains because they were focused on cheaper items.

    The current one (MyPlate) doesn't try to say how many cals one should eat as a one-size-fits-all prescription, although it has suggestions for those on different calorie levels and a calculator similar to that on MFP. I did it, and it tells me I should eat 2000 for maintenance (which is consistent with what other calculators say with the same inputs).

    It then suggests servings of various food groups in a way I find unhelpful, but someone with a bad diet and little knowledge about food. I think the recommendations for veg are way low, but given how few veg the average American eats I get they are trying to work with them, and I think recommending "protein foods" (a category separate from dairy, which can be a great source of protein) in oz rather than grams (although it does recommend leaner proteins) is silly in that obviously different sources have different cals and protein grams.

    I didn't see a gram protein recommendation on MyPlate, or a specific calcium amount and am pretty sure that wasn't on the old pyramid either. I suspect you are talking about RDA, and RDA isn't especially high for protein at all (it's commonly recommended to have more if one is concerned with muscle building, maintenance when losing, when aging, and if an active person, such as someone who does a lot of exercise). As for calcium, I have no special knowledge, although the amounts recommended of various micros are supposed to be sufficient so that 95% of people won't be deficient or some such. Some may be fine on less. But no, I doubt it's crazy high and would suggest comparing US calcium recs to those in other countries if you think ours may be extra high (I don't know what the comparative amounts would be).
    edited February 22
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 18,776 Member Member, Premium Posts: 18,776 Member
    Sooo . . . how many calories are you trying to fit all that food into, and what are your personal go-to foods that use up a fair fraction of your calories day to day?

    I didn't have super much trouble fitting reasonable nutrition (in excess of USDA RDAs for the things I pay attention to, which I admit isn't every detail) into fairly moderate calories (say 1400-ish plus exercise, maybe lower).

    It makes me wonder how low a calorie goal you're trying to hit (at what current body size), and what foods are filling up that calorie goal without reaching protein goals or calcium? Do you have dietary limitations (like being a fully plant-based eater, not a bad thing at all - I'm vegetarian - but one that can make it a little tougher to hit calcium or protein, for example)?

    Like Lemur said, the pyramid isn't even the current USDA paradigm, so I'm a bit confused here . . . ?
  • whoami67whoami67 Member Posts: 256 Member Member Posts: 256 Member
    I'm not a fan of it. I think the government should probably get out of the nutrition recommendation business seeing as they have a poor track record of making good, nutritionally sound, scientifically backed recommendations.
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member, Premium Posts: 6,765 Member Member, Premium Posts: 6,765 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Sooo . . . how many calories are you trying to fit all that food into, and what are your personal go-to foods that use up a fair fraction of your calories day to day?

    I didn't have super much trouble fitting reasonable nutrition (in excess of USDA RDAs for the things I pay attention to, which I admit isn't every detail) into fairly moderate calories (say 1400-ish plus exercise, maybe lower).

    It makes me wonder how low a calorie goal you're trying to hit (at what current body size), and what foods are filling up that calorie goal without reaching protein goals or calcium? Do you have dietary limitations (like being a fully plant-based eater, not a bad thing at all - I'm vegetarian - but one that can make it a little tougher to hit calcium or protein, for example)?

    I wondered the same thing. Also, if the calcium is based on what MFP shows, it could be wrong, as many MFP entries don't have calcium filled in. So someone could be getting more than what MFP lists.

    But absent something like being a plant-based eater new to watching macros, 60 g protein shouldn't be difficult on a reasonable calorie budget.
    Like Lemur said, the pyramid isn't even the current USDA paradigm, so I'm a bit confused here . . . ?

    Right, and the protein and calcium numbers are from a separate source entirely. I'd like to know if we are talking about the RDA numbers, since I suspect all these people claiming the (no longer used) pyramid is so bad might not be so quick to dismiss the RDA. But who knows.

    I would be curious how the US RDA numbers compare with those in the UK or other European countries, however.
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