Thursday, June 16, 2011

Japanese Food Guide Isn't A Pyramid Or A Plate, It's A Spinning Top

I saw their top on the US Department of Agriculture's site for Ethnic Food Guides. There are also pyramids or guides from Canada and Singapore, an Asian Pyramid, Native American Pyramid, and of course the Mediterranean Pyramid.

The differences among these food guides are subtle (no one has meat, or "protein" as the USDA calls it, as the core food group) but meaningful. The Singapore Pyramid says "1/2 serving should come from dairy or other high calcium products," presumably each day. In contrast, our new MyPlate has one serving of dairy consumed with every meal, presumably 3 times a day. And, incredibly, the Mediterranean Pyramid puts red meat at the absolute pinnacle of its pyramid! The only way it could depict "eat less of this" is if it didn't appear at all.

A notable feature of this guide from Japan is how little fruit it recommends. If you liken the top's bottom to our pyramid's tip, you'd be eating fruit more as a condiment than as a substantial portion of the day's calories. And look at the quantity of vegetables!

I'll come clean ... I think our new MyPlate is a little fruit-heavy. But it's a minor grievance.


Claudia said...

This spinning top has convinced me to drink more tea!

RB said...

My food servings don't look like the USDA plate or the top. I had black been soup the other day in a bowl. It also contained vegetables and feta cheese. I had watermelon in another bowl. Plus, I had a slice of bread. So I figure I had everything represented on the plate but it looked like two bowls and grain on a napkin. Plus I had a glass of red wine. Does a glass of wine count as a serving of fruit?

Thinking about it. Does a bottle of beer count as a serving of grain?

Just eat good food and don't worry about plates, pyramids, or tops.

Bix said...

You made it sound so good. I couldn't help myself. I went out and bought a watermelon and had watermelon in a bowl. Oh baby.

Anonymous said...

Hi..You have shared very interesting information..I think this is also one of the reason behind Japan success..