Dear EAT RIGHT MONTANA Friend:
This month’s EAT RIGHT MONTANA packet is the fourth in our 2001 Real
Guidelines for Real People series. It focuses on the third Dietary Guideline:
Let the Pyramid guide your food choices: Build a tasty eating style.
The “portion distortion” on American plates has been getting plenty of press
recently. According to a survey in the February Tufts Health and Nutrition
Letter (http://healthletter.tufts.edu/), typical portions in US restaurants
are two to ten times the size of those recommended by the Food Guide
Pyramid. Even with these huge portions, two-thirds of Americans say they
finish their entree most or all of the time. Membership in the Clean Plate
Club clearly contributes to our ever-expanding national waistline.
The super-sizing of beverages, especially soft drinks, is also a significant
problem. A single can of regular pop contains 150 calories, while the 20 to 36
ounce mega-cups can add 300 to 450 calories. Studies have suggested that
these liquid calories may not “register” in the stomach and brain in the same
way as calories from solid food. This means that people may not compensate
for extra beverage calories by eating less food during the day.
The Food Guide Pyramid, in all its variations, can be a useful tool for helping
people choose more realistic portion sizes and build a healthy base. Here are
three web sites to guide you towards specialized Pyramids for any audience:
http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/Fpyr/pyramid.html (USDA Food and
Nutrition Information Center has links to dozens of Food Pyramids)
http://monarch.gsu.edu/nutrition/download.htm (Bilingual Food Guide
Pyramids in over 30 languages from the University of Georgia)
http://www.oldwayspt.org (Mediterranean, Latin American, Asian and
Vegetarian Pyramids from Oldways Preservation and Exchange Trust)
As always, we welcome your suggestions and comments.
Crystelle Fogle (406) 444-2672 Katie Bark (406) 994-5641
Dayle Hayes (406) 655-9082 ~ EatR