Your grandparents or great-grandparents or great-great-grandparents knew what a good diet was. They knew it through and through without even the slightest shade of a doubt. A good diet was what people always ate. A good diet was about plenty of wholesome food. Good health was about more than just a good diet though. It was also about healthy living. Over the past few weeks posts we’ve talked at length about the details that made up the diet our grandparents recognized as healthy and how that diet differs from a modern diet, whether it’s average or perceived as healthy. Today’s guidelines are mostly about that part of health that granny would have called clean living.
When we were little kids at school we were taught whatever USDA food group system that was being promoted at the time. It might have been the The Basic Seven, or the The Basic Four, or the The Food Guide Pyramid, MyPyramid or now “MyPlate” The USDA’s food recommendations are ever changing. But does our body’s needs change? Not at all! We need the exact same macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients our forebearers lived on. Nothing has changed at all … it’s absurd to think it would!
Interesting chart, huh? Foods are viewed as “body building” or for “energy” or as “protective”. This suggests people should eat plenty of milk, cheese, eggs, fish, and meat along with lots of lard, suet, tallow, butter, bacon and ham and plenty of starchy foods too. Wonder where this chart came from? It was issued by the British Ministry of Food during the Second World War. The chart shown in last weeks post on the first 5 principles of what makes a diet good is a very similar chart produced by the USDA during the wartime years.
Do you feel confused about what to include in a good diet? How about what to leave out? Do nutrition facts labels make your head spin round and round with all the different and contradictory things you’ve read and heard about a healthy diet? Do you feel a little sick with confusion when you read the ingredients labels on foods in the grocery store?