13 Responses to “MyPlate – the new American USDA food pyramid”

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  1. avatar CaptRover says:

    Wow, Zoe! Great stuff. I am a firefighter / medical responder from half a world away (in Arizona). I see the metabolic destruction that occurs in society on a daily basis. People who take meds by the fistfuls but can’t truly help themselves are reliant on a medical establishment that is failing and government bent on killing us (what other explanation is there?). I just wish the fat and sickly would care enough about themselves to learn and then change.

    I look forward to reading ALL of your essays. As Angelo Copola of Latest in Paleo (http://www.latestinpaleo.com/podcast) says in every podcast, “Humans are not broken by default”. I for one agree.

  2. avatar Winnie says:

    Can I eat any beef/ pork liver(organs) when I’m on diet?

  3. avatar Jinb says:

    Have you ever seen any real people -you haven’t have you?another Gary I think he he is a theorist!

  4. avatar SaVanna Sims says:

    Zoe, I just came across your blog via Low Carb Daily. This is a GREAT post, really thorough and informative. I’m studying to be a registered dietitian in the US and I seem to be one of few who advocates a low-carb diet. I’ll definitely be adding your blog to the links on my site.

  5. avatar S.Davies says:

    I have just read your article on the Obesity epidemic. I have not read the book yet, but I have to say that already I agree with your findings, it’s as if a bell has gone off in my head. It has made me realise that the change in our eating habits are being pushed on us from advertising and government changes. I was one of three children, my father was in full-time employment, my mother worked when I was 10 years old. Their income was modest, so food shopping was done once a week and nothing else was bought untill the following week. They had a two pints of milk deliverd every day. We were never hungry and we always ate at the table.

    My childhood daily eating in the 1960’s consisted of, breakfast, usually Ready break or porrige with sugar and full fat milk, then mid-morning school milk ( which has been stopped in over 5’s now ). Lunch, was a cooked school meal, meat, poatoes, greens and gravy. pudding was, a piece of cake and custard. There was only water on offer to drink, squash and juice were unheard of. Tea after school at home was, meat stew or caserole with more vegetables. Supper was a cup of hot milk. On weekends, we had a boiled egg and soldiers for breakfast, Traditional Sunday roast, fruit tart and custard for dessert, or tinned fruit with evaporated mik for a treat. We often had egg or cheese sandwiches for tea but only weekends. Biscuits were only bought with the Friday groceries, once they were gone there weren’t anymore. We never had tinned spagghetti or tinned soups ect. My Parents could not afford them and they weren’t fashionable. Sweets were only for special occassions, and we hardly ate out, there was only the local fish and chip shops, there were no Indian or Chinese takeaways.

    After reading your article, I could see the connection. Our diet changed as you say, in the 70’s, School lunch, became sausage, chips and beans, crisps and bisuits were sold at breaktime. After school, we ate white sliced bread sandwhiches of peanut butter or chocolate spread, as it become popular. Tinned spagghetti, baked beans, ect were in the cupboard, as well as pizzas. We had a freezer, then all sorts of things became available, including a lot more bread. Our breakfast changed to Cornflakes or Cocopops and other sweet cereals as they were being advertised on TV. Chinese takeaway opened and an Indian Take away, there were coffee and cake tea shops. Eating out was becomming a fashion. Along with “Chicken and chips in a basket” at the local pub.

    BUT then came the Wholegrain era. I even did a course on “Wellness”, we were told to eat more fibre, wholegrains, whole meal bread, 5 slices a day etc. jacket potatoes, cut down on the meat,eggs, cheese and eat loads of fruit and drink fruit juices etc. Change to Low fat spreads and low fat meals ( full of sugar!!) I started to put on even more weight and so it has continued, untill last week, then I read your article!! Now I want to turn back the clock, I just hope it’s not too late.

    None of us were overweight untill after 1977. Then we all started to pile on weight. By 2006, my Father who had always been quite a slight man, developed type 2 Diabetes and had two heart attacks, and eventually died at 68, my one brother developed type 2 diabetes. My other brother had a heart attack, but survived!! My mother put on loads of weight, has high blood pressure and problems with athritis. I have developed wide spread athritis and am now obese at 53, and always on a diet!!!

    I will certainly not be nagging my Grandkids to eat too many starchy wholegrains or low fat ready made products. I’ll encourage more water drinking, milk drinking, eating of eggs, meat and fish and not encourage snacking or “grazing” (as is the fashion), of any kind, not even on the “healthy fruit, seeds or nuts”, I’m going back to three good cooked meals a day, consisting of lots of greens, with fruit for dessert, with or without the custard. I’ll also try not to spend so much time in the supermarket to be persuaded to purchase these sugary, sarchy, carbohyrate foods, ready made low -fat ” healthy Sandwiches”, cereals and ” healthy ready made meals” that were supposed to be better for me than my Sunday Roast!! And hopefully I’ll finally lose weight.

  6. avatar Phil says:

    I’ve just ordered your book The Obesity Crisis along with The Harcombe Diet Stop Counting Calories diet Book, The Harcombe Diet Stop Counting Calories Recipe Book and The Harcombe Diet: The Recipe Book.
    I am currently 19 stone. A few years ago my doctor put me on Xenical and I got down to 15 stone. Looking back, after the first month of the drug I realised that it wasn’t the drug but two other reasons why I lost the weight. The first was that you HAVE to change your diet considerably to avoid the messy side effects and secondly the fact that you have to be weighed monthly by your doctor is an insentive to stick to low calories and execise.
    I am looking forward to reading your books. I much prefer to understand how to do something that be told a specific diet to follow.
    Fingers crossed.

    • avatar Zoë says:

      Hi Phil – welcome to real food! It’s the only way to lose weight and keep it off. Many thanks for joining the club – the lovely people in there will keep you sorted
      Very best wishes – Zoe

  7. avatar Zoë says:

    Hi Chris – many thanks for being another person in the unconventional wisdom team!
    The exact passage in The Great Cholesterol con is as follows (the section from Dr MK is in ” ” and the quote from the Framingham study is in ‘ ‘):

    “A key finding from the Framingham study was the following:

    ‘There is a direct association between falling cholesterol levels over the first 14 years (of the study) and mortality over the following 18 years (11% overall and 14% CVD death rate increase per 1mg/dl per year drop in cholesterol levels).’

    The figures on total mortality show an 11 per cent overall increase of death for each 1 mg/dl drop in cholesterol levels, which doesn’t sound that bad. But remember that mg/dl are titchy US units. To convert into the magnificent jumbo-sized units used in the UK – mmol/l – you need to multiply by 39. So, a quick translation of the Framingham results gives the following: a 1mmol/l fall in cholesterol levels is equal to (39 x 11 per cent) increase in the risk of total mortality. Which is 429 per cent.

    To put this into a real-life context, if your total cholesterol were to fall from 5 to 4 mmol/l, your risk of dying would increase by more than 400 per cent. Not only that, but your risk of dying of a cardiovascular disease would increase by 39 x 14 per cent = 546 per cent.”

    I think Dr MK is right…

    5mmol/l (UK) = 193 mg/dl (USA).

    What Dr MK is saying is – if a 1mg/dl reduction in cholesterol levels increases total mortality by 11% then that equates to a reduction from 193 mg/dl to 192 mg/dl. The UK equivalent would be a reduction from 5 to 4.97 mmol/l.

    A UK reduction from 5 mmol/l to 4 mmol/l would equal a US reduction from 193 to 154 = 39 mg/dl so Dr MK has presented that as 39*11 i.e. 11% for every 1 mg/dl drop.

    Whether or not this observation is linear (and can therefore be extrapolated in this way) can be challenged, but the original Framingham quote does say PER 1mg/dl drop, which does support the route Dr MK has taken.

    Hope this helps
    Have you seen this one on cholesterol and mortality? (http://www.zoeharcombe.com/2010/11/cholesterol-heart-disease-%E2%80%93-there-is-a-relationship-but-it%E2%80%99s-not-what-you-think/)

    Best wishes – Zoe

  8. avatar Dr Chris Korvin says:

    I just read your book.Congratulations,I am with you all the way,and with Barry Groves,Gary Taubes, Malcolm Kendrick etc. But I have a question.I may be dumb but there is somethiong I dont understand. You quote Dr. Kendrick on page 163..his “clever calculation”.He states in The Great Cholesterol Con,page92,that it is reported that there is an 11% increase in total mortality for each 1mg/dl drop in cholesterol.(Framingham)From lets say 6mgm down to say 5mg/dl. This is a 16.7% drop. He then points out,quite correctly, that to convert mg/dl to mmols/L you have to multiply by 39. OK, but then he bizarrely multiplies the conversion factor by the 11% increase in mortality to achieve a magnificent 429% increase in total mortality.(You have chosen 5 down to 4..keeps the maths simpler but otherwise the same) The increase in mortality is the same with a given percentage reduction in cholesterol regardless of what units it is measured in.Multiplying the percentage increase in mortality by the conversion factor doesnt make sense to me.Am I misunderstanding or has Dr Kendrick got this wrong?Can you clarify.Dr. Chris Korvin

  9. avatar Shane Doll says:

    Wow, Zoe this is the best post I’ve read yet about the new USDA food pyramid. I couldn’t agree with you more. I had to laugh when I first saw it but then my humor turned to anger as it’s only going to confuse people more. You’re right, when the powers that be can’t tell the difference between macronutrients and food groups we’re in trouble. You’ve got a solid grasp of what’s going on and the real problem. I commend you for telling it like it is. Keep up the good work. As a fitness trainer of over twenty years and someone who specializes in weight loss we need more people like yourself educating on the truth. Keep up the good work. Shane

  10. avatar anna says:

    hi Z,
    i find all your blogs REALLY interesting, especially as u think out of the box.
    (i have all your books & am re-reading the red-covered one)
    2 questions please:
    1) when we over-eat & get hot – is that the body trying to get rid of extra calories?

    2) also if i get very tired/late to bed & wake up the next morning i am always hot ( this is when i am eating normally & healthily & not drinking alochol); as i am facinated with psyiology -why would this be?

    many thanks


    • avatar Zoë says:

      Hi Anna – many thanks for your kind words. The quick answer to 1) is yes! My body did the same – when I binged I used to turn into a little ‘furnace’. The body is literally burning fuel/oxidising carbs – and working overtime doing it!
      2) I have no idea! You sound too young for this to be hot flushes! I’m only interested in food and weight loss, not body temperature upon waking! Sorry!
      Best wishes – Zoe

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