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  1. #1
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Healthy Well-Balanced Diets

    Guides and recommendations from a variety of sources ...

    The Canadian Government has a good one ... the Canada Food Guide:
    Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide - Main Page - Health Canada

    The Australian Government has their Eat for Health program:
    Homepage | Eat For Health

    The New Zealand Government:
    Food and Nutrition Guidelines | Ministry of Health NZ
    https://www.healthed.govt.nz/resourc...eke-o-Aotearoa


    Heart Foundation's advice:
    Food Nutrition and facts

    Cancer Council's advice (Victoria, Australia):
    Healthy Diets for Cancer Prevention - Cancer Council Victoria


    Do you know of other similar sites? Maybe some from the US or UK governments?

  2. #2
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    Are you serious ??..Do you really need to depend on your government to tell you which types of food and how much food you should be eating ?? ...The government just loves to treat and feed it's people like a bunch of herd animals..They think one size fits all and everybody has to be cut from exactly the same cookie sheet....For me personally I know exactly which types of foods I need to eat, I know the amount of calories I need to sustain my active lifestyle. A real healthy well balanced diet doesn't need to be government approved , a healthy balanced diet is a diet which has been customized to fit my needs, keep me healthy and provide me with energy to do what I need to do. Just because something is government approved doesn't mean it's healthy.

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    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    One has to take all this with a grain of salt... our respective food guides were created with the backing of some powerful agriculture lobbies and as such, have some bias and at their very worst, have driven a health experiment that has been going on for nearly 50 years that has not done much for the public good.

    In North America (Canada and the U.S.) it is the grain industry that drove this as well as the misplaced thinking that we needed to greatly limit fats and eat more complex carbs... in Australia the sugar industry has a lot of lobbying power and the Australian Heart still takes a pretty soft position on sugar consumption.

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Uh-oh, Machka. No one needs the government to tell them what to eat or what they can do on their land . . . and Snohomish County has a serious liability problem all of a sudden. And nutrition discussions go all P&R. Meanwhile, back in McDonald's and 7-11 . . .

  5. #5
    Senior Member Spld cyclist's Avatar
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    Advocates of various diets probably all have some degree of bias. In governments, bias can stem from lobbyists. However, there can be lobbyists on both side of the issue, such producers of foods but also consumer- and health-advocacy groups. Governments may also tend towards over-conservatism. On the other hand, advocates of alternative diets are often selling books and "diet" foods, and often seem to be underqualified to develop dietary advice. It often boils down to who you want to believe. I personally tend to give more weight to the advice of government agencies and health advocacy organizations because they typically solicit comments from all sides of the issue before publishing, and they're not trying to sell something.

    I would also like to point out that purveyors of alternative diets often make "one size fits all" recommendations regarding which foods we should or shouldn't eat. Such diets are sometimes extremely rigid about banning certain types of foods with seemingly thin scientific justification. From what I have seen, government agencies are usually better and rarely worse in that regard.

    I think we should all learn as much as we can about nutrition and then try to make the best judgement possible about what is right for us. That means keeping an open mind and listening to different viewpoints. Dismissing government health agency advice simply because lobbyists may have influenced it or because it's "one size fits all" seems like a bad idea to me. There is a lot to learn from such sources.

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    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    There is evidence that humans evolve or adapt to somehow better utilize their natural geographical and cultural diets. This being the case the standardized one-size-fits-all government recommendations aren't very appealing.... ether nutritionally or culturally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spld cyclist View Post
    ...... I think we should all learn as much as we can about nutrition and then try to make the best judgement possible about what is right for us.
    I disagree. I do read plenty! But I have enough hobbies now. Adding one more hobby of trying to gather knowledge where there ISN'T any to gather... doesn't sound like a good investment of my time. We just can't track any foods through a human body yet. Most nutritional info... is just best guesses.
    Last edited by Dave Cutter; 03-29-14 at 12:14 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Spld cyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    There is evidence that humans evolve or adapt to somehow better utilize their natural geographical and cultural diets. This being the case the standardized one-size-fits-all government recommendations aren't very appealing.... ether nutritionally or culturally.

    I disagree. I do read plenty! But I have enough hobbies now. Adding one more hobby of trying to gather knowledge where there ISN'T any to gather... doesn't sound like a good investment of my time. We just can't track any foods through a human body yet. Most nutritional info... is just best guesses.
    Then do you just eat what you like best without thinking about nutrition? Or is there a nutritional philosophy/plan that you follow? (I'm genuinely curious - not trying to be a jerk).

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    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spld cyclist View Post
    Then do you just eat what you like best without thinking about nutrition? Or is there a nutritional philosophy/plan that you follow? (I'm genuinely curious - not trying to be a jerk).
    I do only eat what I like.... because fortunately I enjoy a wide variety of foods. So I don't see much point in my case to eat any foods I don't like. And I most certainly also try to eat a healthy diet. My natural tendency (from how I was raised) would cause me to lean much more towards carbs than conventional wisdom would suggest I should. So I purposefully try to include lean meats in my diet. I try to get 20-25% of my calories from proteins.

    I could easily be a vegetarian.... but since none of my ancestors lived meat free... I don't think my body is well suited for that life style. I eat plenty of fresh fruits and raw (as well as cooked) veggies. I occasionally snack on nuts and seeds.... I fight my attraction to sweets (and sometimes lose).

    I worked at training my body to accept eggs since I found myself egg intolerant as an adult. Culturally.... eggs would naturally be a mainstay in my diet. I don't eat a lot of eggs but at least they are now part of my protein intake (I like them hard boiled in my salads).

    Culturally milk wasn't consumed (other than breast milk) and I find my mature body doesn't tolerate milk well. But I can handle a half cup of milk on my cereal and a little cheese on this-or-that is nice too.

    I track my foods via a diet app... so I have a pretty good idea as to how much of what I eat. I am a reader by nature... so I have read a bit about diet. I think much of the info available is more trend, fad, and best guess.... than any real dietary science. For me... I think it would be a waste of time to put any more effort into trying to "invent" a better diet.
    Last edited by Dave Cutter; 03-29-14 at 05:23 PM.

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Do you know of other similar sites? Maybe some from the US or UK governments?

    Back to the original question ...


    Do you know of other similar sites? If you aren't familiar with government sites, what about sites from health organisations such as the ones from heart, cancer, diabetes organisations?

  10. #10
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    One has to take all this with a grain of salt... our respective food guides were created with the backing of some powerful agriculture lobbies and as such, have some bias and at their very worst, have driven a health experiment that has been going on for nearly 50 years that has not done much for the public good.

    In North America (Canada and the U.S.) it is the grain industry that drove this as well as the misplaced thinking that we needed to greatly limit fats and eat more complex carbs... in Australia the sugar industry has a lot of lobbying power and the Australian Heart still takes a pretty soft position on sugar consumption.
    Absolutely. While I'm not a low-carber per se, I am in full agreement that the nutrition guidelines from government entities are highly suspect. For decades the US taught children that the proper way to eat was the Food Pyramid with a diet based on grains. We learned about it in class, had big posters on the wall in the cafeteria, and got fliers and brochures to take home. It was posted in grocery stores and on billboards, and promoted by "experts" on television. Most people assumed that this information came from the FDA, AMA or some dietetic/nutrition authorities somewhere. Nope, the original Food Pyramid used from the 1970s through early 2000s was actually developed by the USDA with money allocated to bolster the sagging small grain market of the era. It had far more to do with selling grain than making children healthy. Only later was it adopted by the Department of Health and other entities who jumped on the bandwagon.



    The current "modified" food pyramid is better, as is the My Plate program, both of which reduced the emphasis on grains and increased the portions of vegetables, but both are still major generalizations and underemphasize healthful proportions of lipids (fats and oils).


    An interesting note is that during the 30 or so year run of the original food pyramid, the incidence of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes rose substantially while obesity, especially in children and teens, skyrocketed. Hmmm . . . I wonder if there is a connection.
    Last edited by Myosmith; 03-30-14 at 04:22 AM.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    The biggest problem with these food pyramids is the number of servings per each food group. Those government food pyramids are complete BS and impossible to follow.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
    ........ An interesting note is that during the 30 or so year run of the original food pyramid, the incidence of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes rose substantially while obesity, especially in children and teens, skyrocketed. Hmmm . . . I wonder if there is a connection.
    An interesting fact.... but is it relevant to the food pyramid? During the same period the average life span also went UP... are you crediting the "food pyramid" for increased longevity?

    The inherent problem with dietary research is you can't have control groups. Spending a billion dollars on posters and kids-show commercials doesn't have much to do with changing peoples diets. I've read that people are more likely to make meal choices based on the "fad diets" advertised on/in the magazines at grocery store check-out lanes.

    I would have a hard time blaming "type 2 diabetes and obesity" on a food chart. Although I might lean towards believing that obesity contributes to some diabetes. After all... no where on any of the food charts do they mention the acceptable amounts of alcohol, tobacco products, or illegal drugs. Yet people seem to consume plenty of those products.

    Aren't most dietary problems actually related to addictive behavior and not formalized selection?

    If you want a "different" approach to dietary ideas.... why not the 30 bananas a day bunch.
    Last edited by Dave Cutter; 03-30-14 at 08:59 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Back to the original question ...


    Do you know of other similar sites? If you aren't familiar with government sites, what about sites from health organisations such as the ones from heart, cancer, diabetes organisations?
    Sure...but I would have to dig through my recycle bin to find them

  14. #14
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Guides and recommendations from a variety of sources ...

    The Canadian Government has a good one ... the Canada Food Guide:
    Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide - Main Page - Health Canada

    The Australian Government has their Eat for Health program:
    Homepage | Eat For Health

    The New Zealand Government:
    Food and Nutrition Guidelines | Ministry of Health NZ
    https://www.healthed.govt.nz/resourc...eke-o-Aotearoa


    Heart Foundation's advice:
    Food Nutrition and facts

    Cancer Council's advice (Victoria, Australia):
    Healthy Diets for Cancer Prevention - Cancer Council Victoria


    Do you know of other similar sites? Maybe some from the US or UK governments?

    Machka, Machka, Machka, The anti-government and fad dieters are not going to let you express any opinion that differs from their own...

    They have their own thread protected from any and all contrary opinions -- and they are not about to let you start a thread that may disagree with their views...

    The fact is: the government backed nutrition advise has not always been perfect by any means -- but the profiteers advocating the fad diets -- along with the meat and dairy associations and the pharm industry -- have been far, far worse...
    --------------------------------------
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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    The American Heart Association (AHA) has excellent guidelines. This link has links to various topics:
    Healthy Eating
    with the most technical and informative being this one:
    http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/114/1/82.full.pdf
    The American Heart Association makes every effort to avoid any actual or potential conflicts of interest that may arise as a result of an outside
    relationship or a personal, professional, or business interest of a member of the writing panel. Specifically, all members of the writing group are required
    to complete and submit a Disclosure Questionnaire showing all such relationships that might be perceived as real or potential conflicts of interest.
    This statement was approved by the American Heart Association Science Advisory and Coordinating Committee on April 26, 2006. A single reprint
    is available by calling 800-242-8721 (US only) or writing the American Heart Association, Public Information, 7272 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX
    75231-4596. Ask for reprint No. 71-0365. To purchase additional reprints: up to 999 copies, call 800-611-6083 (US only) or fax 413-665-2671; 1000
    or more copies, call 410-528-4121, fax 410-528-4264, or e-mail kelle.ramsay@wolterskluwer.com. To make photocopies for personal or educational use,
    call the Copyright Clearance Center, 978-750-8400.
    Expert peer review of AHA Scientific Statements is conducted at the AHA National Center. For more on AHA statements and guidelines development,
    visit www.heart.org.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Spld cyclist's Avatar
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    It's interesting that USDA food pyramid is constantly blamed for the misguided low-fat fad (for which it deserves some of the blame), but it gets no credit for putting equal emphasis on limiting added sugars. Is it USDA's fault that low-fat became a national obsession while its recommendation to use added sugars sparingly was virtually ignored? I think a lot of it was the mass media. For at least a couple decades, they were constantly preaching about fat, but never said much about sugar until the last several years.

    IMO, excessive added sugars in the American diet is really what got us to this point. From what I've read, eating complex carbs in moderation is completely compatible with good health (with the exception of people who need to watch glycemic load, such as diabetics, and even they can often eat a moderate level of carbs without harm).

    Edit: Googling this a little more, I discovered the following - here's the 1992 USDA pamphlet. They were recommending no more than 30% of fat from calories, which is perhaps lower than it needed to be, but not excessively low:

    http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/publication...gppamphlet.pdf

    The USDA was using the same recommendation in 1984.

    IMO, the USDA's greatest failure in this regard was not differentiating much between good fats and bad fats, but I'm not sure the science was there back then anyway. I'll be doing a little more reading on that....
    Last edited by Spld cyclist; 03-30-14 at 12:42 PM.

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    sugar is addicting...and addicts are always in denial

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    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Sugar is big business.

    To get an idea of how much of national policies are driven by big agriculture consider that the U.S. corn lobby spends in excess of $700,000 a year lining the pockets of politicians and that this industry is one of America's largest taking in over 70 billion dollars a year.

    Corn is a primary source of livestock feed, the primary source of ethanol, and is the major source of added sugar in foods and all of this is heavily subsidized while the US has high tariffs on imported sugar to keep the prices of that high and non-competitive. Most of the corn that people consume comes in the form of sugar derived from corn...

    Most corn that is produced is GMO and Monsanto spends 10 times as much as their corn producers in lobbying the government.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Spld cyclist's Avatar
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    It's too bad that the beef, pork, and poultry industries don't lobby the US Government. They could clear this whole about carbs vs. fat vs. protein thing up in a week. Too bad they were voiceless way back when. Oh, wait, they DO lobby the US Government? And they did back then, too?

    Yes, US grain production, like meat production, is big business. Beyond that, what's the point? In the US, cheap grain = cheap fat and cheap protein. US meat prices are very low by world standards. The grain lobby isn't limiting access to meat at all. And the USDA's recommendation for no more than 30% calories from fat put their blessing on a fair amount of meat consumption by individuals.

    In addition, the sugar lobby wasn't successful in keeping USDA from telling us that added sugars should be used "sparingly."

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Of course not mentioning that livestock is also big business and comfortably in control of its legislators and regulators. It is no accident that 70%-80% of the antibiotics produced in this country are fed to livestock:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/28/op...-eat.html?_r=0
    Most U.S. Antibiotics Fed to Healthy Livestock - Scientific American
    meat producers feed some 25 million pounds of antibiotics to chickens, pigs and cows for non-therapeutic purposes each year
    and that this use of antibiotics and concomitant creation of antibiotic resistant organisms is almost completely unregulated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spld cyclist View Post

    In addition, the sugar lobby wasn't successful in keeping USDA from telling us that added sugars should be used "sparingly."
    They don't have too..they just sneak sugar into every food they get away with

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    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    An interesting fact.... but is it relevant to the food pyramid? During the same period the average life span also went UP... are you crediting the "food pyramid" for increased longevity?

    The inherent problem with dietary research is you can't have control groups. Spending a billion dollars on posters and kids-show commercials doesn't have much to do with changing peoples diets. I've read that people are more likely to make meal choices based on the "fad diets" advertised on/in the magazines at grocery store check-out lanes.

    I would have a hard time blaming "type 2 diabetes and obesity" on a food chart. Although I might lean towards believing that obesity contributes to some diabetes. After all... no where on any of the food charts do they mention the acceptable amounts of alcohol, tobacco products, or illegal drugs. Yet people seem to consume plenty of those products.

    Aren't most dietary problems actually related to addictive behavior and not formalized selection?

    If you want a "different" approach to dietary ideas.... why not the 30 bananas a day bunch.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    An interesting fact.... but is it relevant to the food pyramid? During the same period the average life span also went UP... are you crediting the "food pyramid" for increased longevity?

    The inherent problem with dietary research is you can't have control groups. Spending a billion dollars on posters and kids-show commercials doesn't have much to do with changing peoples diets. I've read that people are more likely to make meal choices based on the "fad diets" advertised on/in the magazines at grocery store check-out lanes.

    I would have a hard time blaming "type 2 diabetes and obesity" on a food chart. Although I might lean towards believing that obesity contributes to some diabetes. After all... no where on any of the food charts do they mention the acceptable amounts of alcohol, tobacco products, or illegal drugs. Yet people seem to consume plenty of those products.

    Aren't most dietary problems actually related to addictive behavior and not formalized selection?

    If you want a "different" approach to dietary ideas.... why not the 30 bananas a day bunch.
    Very true that the government food guidelines are a single factor in a sea of factors that contribute to the health of a nation. I do believe the food pyramid and other USDA guidelines did contribute to the problem by validating an already extremely carb-centric "balanced" American diet. Schools and moms worked hard to assure that we got our 11 servings of starches a day because it was good for us. In the 1970s we didn't think of carbs the way we do today. We weren't eating steel cut oats, barley, quinoa, and whole grain brown rice. Our 11 servings a day consisted of white bread, Frosted Flakes, white rice, white potatoes (whipped, mashed, or fried without the skins), and white pasta.

    Add that government validation to huge marketing campaigns by the food industry and people actually believed that Wonder Bread and Captain Crunch were good for you. Remember that this was the same time period when the USDA (which oversees school lunch programs) decided that ketchup was a vegetable so a cheeseburger and fries doused with condiments and a sugar laden chocolate milk became an acceptable "balanced" meal for school kids.

    Factors that cannot be attributed to the USDA recommendations include big increases in "average" portion size, especially of low nutrition treats like soda and candy, and the rapid increase in the amount of added simple sugars in our diet.

    Obviously, diet is just one of the contributing factors to the rapidly climbing epidemic of obesity and Type 2 diabetes (the link between the two is well established by numerous medical studies around the world) as well as the climb in metabolic syndrome and heart disease. The average lifespan for a white American male rose by three years from 1970 to 2010. The numbers are similar for women. Blacks and Hispanics had slightly greater gains, primarily attributed to better access to health care. During that same time the incidence of heart disease, diabetes, and morbid obesity rose markedly. What this shows is that we are not getting healthier, we are getting better at treating disease, not preventing it. We are surviving heart attacks, strokes, cancer and other afflictions that would have killed us 40 years ago. If you look at statistics adjusted for productive years, rather than just overall lifespan, you'll see we really haven't gained that much.

    You'll get no argument from me that excessive use of alcohol and any use of tobacco and illegal drugs increases your risk of health problems just as poor diet and obesity does. There is a complex interplay and having multiple negative factors, including those mentioned as well as environment and heredity, compounds the risks of developing major health problems.

    Our increasingly sedentary lifestyle, especially the decrease in physical activity among young people, is also a huge concern, but that could be a thead unto itself.

    Meanwhile, Back at the ranch:

    The whole point of my first post in this thread was that I don't trust USDA nutrition guidelines, then or now, to be sound advice based on the best nutritional interests of the public. There are way too many political and economic agendas involved to assure that the recommendations are unbiased.
    Last edited by Myosmith; 03-30-14 at 03:06 PM.
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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Canadian Food Guide

    Canadian Food Guide
    Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide - Main Page - Health Canada

    PDF Version of the Guide
    http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/alt_for...enmang-eng.pdf

    Physical Activity page
    Tips to Get Active - Physical Activity - Healthy Living - Public Health Agency of Canada

    Healthy Canadians Food and Nutrition page
    Food and nutrition

    Percent Daily Value (%DV) page
    The Percent Daily Value (% DV)


    The Canadian Food Guide includes both food guidelines and guidelines regarding maintaining healthy habits, including …

    “Steps towards better health and a healthy body weight include:
    •Eating the recommended amount and types of food each day.
    •Limiting foods and beverages high in calories, fat, sugar or salt (sodium).
    •Being active every day.”


    The guide provides information regarding serving sizes, tips for food choices, and talks about food labelling. It also talks about dietary choices for different stages in life and different activity levels. And the guide provides tips for getting active (see the physical activity link above).

    The guide emphasises in many places to choose foods that are low in fat, sugar or salt. And the %DV page states that “sugars do not have a % DV because there is no recommended amount of sugar for a healthy population.”


    For a female adult between 19 and 50, the guide recommends that the diet be divided into 17-19 servings per day. 42.1% vegetables and fruits, 36.8% grain products, 10.5% milk and alternatives, and 10.5% meat and alternatives.

    For a male adult of the same age, the guide recommends that the diet be divided into 21-23 servings per day. 43.5% vegetables and fruits, 34.8% grain products, 8.7% milk and alternatives, and 13% meat and alternatives.


    One of the things I am interested in are these percentages … how do different countries and different health organisations suggest we divide our consumption of vegetables, fruits, grain products, dairy products and meat products?



    (NOTE: This thread is not intended for political discussions ... it is meant to be a comparison between the dietary/health plans recommended by various countries and health organisations.)

  24. #24
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
    ..... In the 1970s we didn't think of carbs the way we do today. We weren't eating steel cut oats, barley, quinoa, and whole grain brown rice. Our 11 servings a day consisted of white bread, Frosted Flakes, white rice, white potatoes (whipped, mashed, or fried without the skins), and white pasta. .
    Actually.... I think you're remembering a cultural diet... and inferring that it was a national government sponsored trend. It wasn't. By the time I got into the 1970's.... the hippy trends had us all eating organically grown salads and range fed hens. My wife and I bought carob-chocolate treats at the local health food store for our son.

    Quote Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
    ..... Factors that cannot be attributed to the USDA recommendations include big increases in "average" portion size, especially of low nutrition treats like soda and candy, and the rapid increase in the amount of added simple sugars in our diet......
    ....... The whole point of my first post in this thread was that I don't trust USDA nutrition guidelines, then or now, to be sound advice based on the best nutritional interests of the public. There are way too many political and economic agendas involved to assure that the recommendations are unbiased.
    It's all volume. Only a fraction of the population knows the food chart well enough to utilize it. And some people that do know could care less... or like yourself don't trust the information. No one has ever got fat.... reading a chart. Charts have nothing to do with peoples diet. Almost all mammals.... given the resources will eat themselves fat. It isn't just Americans that are fat.... so are our dogs and our cats. And now everywhere on the planet where we find prosperity we also find obesity.

    This is NOT an epidemic. This is the natural state.... of the natural man. Gluttony and sloth are not diseases that can be treated with pills and doctor recommended practices. Hubris and science will not serve us well in resolving these issues.
    Last edited by Dave Cutter; 03-30-14 at 06:36 PM.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Spld cyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    (NOTE: This thread is not intended for political discussions ... it is meant to be a comparison between the dietary/health plans recommended by various countries and health organisations.)
    Sorry. I'm not sure I can help from being political, but I'll try to stay on topic....

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