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Meat/Dairy at Top of Harvard's New Food Guide Pyramid

healthyeatingpyramidresize.gifThe Harvard School of Public Health recently updated and revised their own Food Guide Pyramid, with guidelines that fit the times of the current era. Too bad they don't take into account that the research of today is often filled with false misconceptions resulting in knee jerk reactions to eliminate certain foods from the diet. The Harvard Food Guide Pyramid places red meat and dairy products at the top, lumping these foods with sugars, starches and salts. Since when is lean red meat and calcium-rich dairy a bad addition to a balanced diet? I'm dissapointed that a highly respected source like Harvard has stepped in line with so many others that doubt the power of red meat and dairy in a diet.

Currently, I'm training for a half marathon, and I'm running on behalf of America's farmers and ranchers. Why? Because they work hard every day to fuel my body with safe and nutritious products. And, this isn't just saying so, but I truly feel stronger when I recharge with a tall glass of milk and a lean cut of beef. Do these products deserve to be in a category with potato chips and candy? I don't think so. To view the article about this food guide pyramid, link to Harvard's article, What You Should Eat. I have included the information from the article pertaining to the beef and dairy industry. Notice they even pin these products with cancer. Anyone else as frustrated as me?

Use Sparingly: Red Meat and Butter

These sit at the top of the Healthy Eating Pyramid because they contain lots of saturated fat. Eating a lot of red meat may also increase your risk of colon cancer. If you eat red meat every day, switching to fish, chicken, or beans several times a week can improve cholesterol levels. So can switching from butter to olive oil. And eating fish has other benefits for the heart.

Dairy (1 to 2 Servings Per Day) or Vitamin D/Calcium Supplements

The recommendation to drink three glasses of low-fat milk or eat three servings of other dairy products per day to prevent osteoporosis is another step in the wrong direction. Of all the recommendations, this one represents the most radical change from current dietary patterns. Three glasses of low-fat milk a day amounts to more than 300 extra calories a day. This is a real issue for the millions of Americans who are trying to control their weight. This recommendation ignores the lack of evidence for a link between consumption of dairy products and prevention of osteoporosis. It also ignores the possible increases in risk of ovarian cancer and prostate cancer associated with dairy products.

Quick Daily Beef Fact: One serving of beef provides 51% of the recommended daily protein needed in the diet. You need protein to support the growth and maintenance of bones, muscles and tissues, and to regulate and boost metabolism. Several studies indicate that beef is more satisfying than carbohydrates and can help people lose or maintain weight. Studies also show protein-rich diets boost the benefits of exercise and fuel muscle development, which is increasingly important for maintaining optimal health throughout your life. (Courtesy of Beef It's What's For Dinner)