Healthy Is In the Eye of The Beholder

foodpyramidcircus1KLIKKIU.NET – According to the old saying:  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

“Healthy” also seems to be in the eye of the beholder, especially when that beholder is a scientist pushing the latest theory on what’s good for us and what’s not.

Take this pop quiz to test your health knowledge:

  1. Soy is:
    1. Good for you – it prevents heart disease
    2. Bad for you – it causes cancer
  2. Caffeine is:
    1. Good for you – it improves brain function and prevents certain cancers
    2. Bad for you – it leads to early death
  3. Alcohol is:
    1. Bad for you – it increases risk of liver damage and some cancers
    2. Good for you – it prevents heart disease
  4. Cigarettes are:
    1. Bad for you – they cause cancer
    2. Good for you – they decrease appetite

If you answered “A” to all questions, congratulations – you got 100%!

If you answered “B” to all, don’t feel bad – you’re also 100% right!  Science has held each one of these positions at various times; often at the exact same time.   When it comes to defining what’s healthy and what’s not, science has done more flip-flopping than a political candidate after the election.

Even the trusty food pyramid has changed over the years.  It used to have four tiers with the biggest portion devoted to bread and cereal.  Ten years later they changed the proportions, flipped the pyramid sideways, and made it look like a circus tent.  Now experts have trashed the pyramid altogether in favor of a plate.  How is the average Joe supposed to know what to think?

Science is clueless.  We’re just as likely to get it right by making up our own rules…and so I have.

Introducing the Peg-o-Leg Recommended Food Pyramid.  I’ve used the original 4 layer concept to reinvent the pyramid, incorporating the most important food groups.  From bottom to top:

  • Bottom layer: The entire structure is anchored by this, the most important food group: chocolate.

Here you’ve got your double chocolate layer cakes, Little Debbie treats, Moose Tracks Ice Cream and the occasional box of Godiva or other good chocolates received as gifts.  6-11 servings per day.

  • Second layer: The next layer is split between grains and milk.

Grains include donuts, eclairs, bakery bread and waffles.  Some think we should include pizza here because of the crust, especially Chicago style, but the scientific community is split on this.  3-5 servings per day.

Milk includes ice cream (note a perfectly acceptable overlap with the chocolate layer) cheese (in blintzes, fondues or with mac,) and hollandaise sauce.   2-4 servings per day.

  • Third layer: This layer is split between steak and appetizers.

Steak includes prime rib (with creamy horseradish sauce,) rib eyes and Chateaubriand when at a fancy restaurant on an expense account or when someone else is buying.   2-3 servings per day.

Appetizers include onion rings, mushrooms, cheese, pickles and anything else battered and fried.  It also includes that spinach/artichoke dip that makes you think it’s healthy because it contains green veggies, but because of the chips, cheese and cream packs on 3700 calories per serving.  This category encompasses pretty much the first couple of menu pages at Applebee’s, Chi-Chi’s, and all the rest of the fern bar restaurant chains.  2-3 servings per day.

  • Top layer: This small layer consists of fish, veggies, beans, yogurt and grains that are not donuts. These should be consumed sparingly.

I’m considering writing a book on my new, healthy living food pyramid.  With everybody so health conscious nowadays, I bet it would sell like hotcakes…with plenty of butter and syrup.


2 thoughts on “Healthy Is In the Eye of The Beholder”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s