Food Guide Pyramid Due for an Update
By Neal D. Barnard, M.D.
This letter to the editor ran in USA Today on Nov. 14, 2002.
There is no doubt that the Food Guide Pyramid needs a makeover, as evidenced by the USA’s high obesity rates and related health problems ("Scales tip in favor of new food pyramid," Life, Nov. 5). The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has recommended key revisions to the guide based on new scientific research:
*It’s time to dump the milk group, given the strong association between the consumption of dairy products and prostate cancer.
*Low-fat, cholesterol-free protein sources such as beans, vegetables and grains should be favored over meat, as heart disease remains the nation’s No. 1 killer. Diets heavy in animal protein vs. plant protein can cause bone loss and increase kidney-stone incidence.
*The grain group should emphasize whole grains.
Following this dietary pattern, along with eating a variety of fresh fruit each day, would help Americans slim down and dramatically cut their risk of developing heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.
Neal D. Barnard, M.D., President
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine