Exploring the New Food Pyramid at the Farmers' Market

By: Dana Brueck
By: Dana Brueck

Recently instated by the government, the new food pyramid retains its old shape; the only change is the brighter color scheme and new, more informative message.

A lesson on the redesigned health guide took place at the Capitol Square.

"It does combine not just eating, but exercise as well," says dietitian Susan Doyle of the new food pyramid.

The Dane County Farmers Market is where people do plenty of both those activities.

Doyle says, "The new food guide pyramid stresses moderation, small steps and variety."

This year the USDA replaced its 1992 version of the food guide pyramid with a new one called "My Pyramid."

"It's different mainly because it's a step process and everybody has their own individualized meal plan and they're really stressing activity," she says.

Americans now see a figure climbing steps as well as six color-coded food groups in vertical stripes.

"We're really emphasizing intake of different colors of fruits and vegetables."

That means stick to the color red on the pyramid, which indicates fruit.

The color green represents nutrient-rich vegetables such as spinach and okra.

Doyle says, "They're high in vitamins and minerals."

That is advice for everybody, but the new website for My Pyramid lets people enter their age, gender, and activity level. The program then calculates just how much they need of each food group in household measures, as opposed to serving sizes.

"The whole notion of a serving size has been kind of distorted," Doyle says.

Kathy England uses the new pyramid. "I'm gonna have a very nice, fresh salad tonight," she says.

The wider the designated food group section, the more it's a part of your diet.

"I have some radishes, mushrooms, and the other stuff is all bad ..."

Doyle also says that even fats have their place, however they narrow the food section.

She adds that people can include them, but urges moderation.

To find out more about My Pyramid log onto its website at www.my pyramid.gov.

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