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Dr. Kim Mulvihill ReportingThe food pyramid may be getting a bit wider in all the right places.
Our girth as a nation is helping to push much needed revisions into the federal food pyramid. The proposed changes include:
-eating more fruits and veggies, five to 13 servings a day. That’s up from nine
-Replacing refined grains with whole grains.
-Reducing salt intake to less than 2300 milligrams a day.
-Eating two servings of fish rich in omega three fatty acids per week.
-And most of us should triple our milk consumption and drink three cups, preferably nonfat or low fat.
But the recommendations may not be easy to swallow. While eighty percent of Americans recognize the pyramid, only two to four percent actually use it.
The shape may be simple, but it takes effort to figure it out. First you need to know your calorie needs. That depends on your sex, age, and activity level. An inactive woman needs 1600 calories. An active woman needs more like 2200.
Based on calories you can figure out how many servings you should eat. But what’s in a serving? That’s tough. Americans may know about transfats, but they get stumped on servings.
Greg Critser, Author of ‘Fat Land’: “We tend to be pretty good at saying this oil is better than that kind of oil, and don't eat at McDonalds, but we're not good at telling children why they should have just one serving of something.”
And portions served in restaurants and in the home don’t help. Americans are eating more servings than they should. For example, one serving of pasta is just one half a cup. A steaming plate of pasta is easily four servings or more.