I classify my diet as “pretty healthy”. I eat a variety of food and really limit processed junk and sugars.
The other day I was reading the food pyramid [recommendations], and I realized my diet is a little off.
For example, I am supposed to have 6 ounces of grains a day, but most days I get three or four. Some days, my only grain consumption of the day is a cup of brown rice [2 servings] with lunch and a half cup [1 serving quick-cooking oats I’ll add to a smoothie (you suggested that in a blog post last year and I LOVE it!!).
I eat a lot more vegetables than the food pyramid recommends, and some days twice the fruit than I “should”. That is all [whole pieces] of fruit, not a bunch of glasses of Tropicana with breakfast.
Should I be concerned about this? Should I cut back a little bit on fruits and vegetables and eat more whole grains? My weight is healthy, I feel fine, and I have never had cholesterol or hypertension issues or wacked levels of anything on blood tests.
— Samantha Ondry
You don’t need to abide one hundred percent by the food pyramid (now known as MyPyramid).
Lobbying and politics aside (ie: there is a “milk” group, as opposed to a much-more-objective-and-scientifically-sound “calcium-rich foods” group), the main point of it is to provide general guidelines to the general population.
The main message I like to communicate to my clients about MyPyramid is that plant-based foods should make up a significant percentage of their diet.
There is absolutely no need to be concerned about the fact that you are surpassing fruit and vegetable recommendations and “not meeting” grain recommendations, particularly if you are in good health and are not overweight, AND this intake is from whole foods.
It’s important to note that many of the key nutrients in grain products are also found in fruits and vegetables.
Would adding an extra cup or cup and a half of whole grains to your day hurt? Not at all, provided you reduced calories from other foods to maintain your current caloric intake.
Do I think you absolutely must increase your grain intake at the moment? Not based on what you tell me.