Is the Food Pyramid a Scam?

Granted, I am not not a fan of the food pyramid; I just think people tend to abuse some of the notions while fully ignoring the rest.
It’s a little bit like the Constitution and how people tend to interpret what they want from it while eschewing the bits that don’t suit their political agendas.

Is the true scheme in the pyramid, or in how it is misconstrued that low-carbers don’t even come close to the so-called prescribed healthful eating of mainstream America?

Furthermore, are low-carbers that far off of the mark?

Vegetables: 3-5 servings per day

The USDA sets the average servings size for vegetables at 1/2 cup per serving, or 1 cup for leafy vegetables.

How many people do you know following a high-carb, low-fat regimen eat the recommended servings of vegetables daily? On Atkins (2002) induction alone, the recommended servings of vegetables can be up to 6 servings, twice what many will eat a day. Low-carbers may be eating up to 6 times the recommended alotted vegetable intake than the average American citizen who may trip over a piece of lettuce on their way to the cake.

Add the next stage of Atkins (OWL rung 1), and the number jumps from 3-6 servings of vegetables per day to 4-8.

Results: Low-carbers surpass amounts recommended by the USDA

Fruits: 2-4 servings a day.

The USDA sets the average serving size for fruit as either 1/2 cup of fruit, or one piece of fruit.

Fruit, while seemingly verboten in low-carb eating, is anything but. Foods high in antioxidants that are lower on the glycemic index include: blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, and raspberries. one-half cup of blackberries, as an example, yields only 2.5 net carbohydrates. That means that for low-carbers to hit the minimum for the day, one serving of low-carb cranberry sauce plus one serving of blackberries in yogurt is an easy way to hit those values–and many do!

So why is it assumed that people following a low-carb regimen don’t partake in the healthy consumption of high-fiber fruits?

Results: Low-carbers meet or surpass amounts recommended by the USDA

Dairy: 2-3 servings a day.

The USDA lists a serving of dairy as one cup of yogurt, 2 ounces of cheese, 2/3 cup cottage cheese.

This is a no-brainer in terms of low-carb, unless we’re dealing with allergies. Atkineers easily bring in 2 servings of dairy, even when following induction. No problems here, either.

Meat: 2-3 servings per day.

The USDA lists a serving of meat as 2-3 ounces of lean meat, poultry, or fish, 1 cooked egg, or 1/3 cup nuts.

Protein makes up surprisingly little of many low-carb plan. even in the most stringent form of Atkins, protein makes up a maximum of 35% of the overall ratio in terms of fat/protein/carbs. (Using is an easy way to calculate these percentages). That is nowhere near the supposedly high values the general public is led to believe the average low-carber is consuming.

Results: Low-carbers meet or surpass amounts recommended by the USDA

So, again. what is the problem here? You’re about to find out.

Bread: 6-11 servings

The USDA lists a serving from this grouping as 1 slice bread, 1/2 cup cooked cereal, 1/2 cup cooked rice, 1/2 bagel.

This is where the insanity ensues. It is known that while many low-carb plans will allow for whole grains and healthier choices in terms of roughage and fiver, most of the processed foods found on store shelves rush straight to the bloodstream like Paris Hilton towards a shoe sale.

Sure, the average American can hit that 6-11 servings, but at what cost?

Taking USDA standards, the average United States citizen is bringing in over 250 carbohydrates in these items alone at almost no nutritional value whatsoever.

That is a harrowing number, and, frankly, with the bulk of nutrients coming from fruits and vegetables, coupled withe the fiber from those groups, who needs the dough, the rice, and the same stuff the cows eat?

Results: Low-carbers neither meet nor surpass amounts recommended by the USDA

Fats bad… sugar… well, that’s bad, too…

The USDA states that these should be used sparingly.

Together, fats + sugar are not friends. Atkins noted, in his ’72 book, that the reason that fats and sugars don’t play well together is because of the effect both have (and rather badly) when combined. It’s a bit like combining free speech with alcohol. Sure, the Constitution allows for freedoms, but combining them can end up with you in the ICU over time. When we’re speaking to the food pyramid, it is absolutely noted that fats are to be limited while in the presence of processed carbs and sugars.

The irony is the mention of sugars specifically, since many of the 6-11 servings of breads and rice and all foods that turn to starchy goo on the tongue already supply more than those needed allotments for sucking down table sugars anyway.

Regarding fats? In Atkins induction, it is reasoned that 60% of calories will be coming from fats. People assume that means eating spoons of mayonnaise and rolling around in butter pats. The truth isn’t that sensational.

It’s not hard to achieve that margin of fat when cuts of meat aren’t lean, and when eggs tend to be fatty by nature. Cheeses should be full-fat. When the food pyramid is adjusted to allow for healthy fats, it is obvious that the number of grain-based foods shrink by comparison. So where’s the fat, guys?

Fat in sour cream? Well, that’s also dairy. The fat helps stave off sugar cravings due to the lactose. In a lamb chop? Well, that’s also meat, and the fat there helps stave off any cravings which may be tipped off in accompanying vegetables.

In low-carb, very little–if any– is fat for fat’s sake.

Results: Low-carbers most likely meet or surpass amounts recommended by the USDA in terms of added fats such as mayonnaise or butter, but only as exists in products consumed.

In terms of healthful eating, low-carbers meet or exceed the recommended servings of most food groups on the food pyramid. Certainly, while you won’t find a low-carber noshing on the Frooty Loopers, rice pilaf or the Bagel products (where is the healthy fiber in either of those?), there are certain places where it is fully fine for low-carbers to fail in the eyes of the USDA.

And if this means we’re outside clapping erasers after class, at least it doesn’t mean that as a group we’re panting during gym.
What do you think? Drop me a line.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. The pyramid is a TOTAL FRAUD. IT was setup for the interest of food processors. Processed Grain is garbage. The government promoted white flour addiction to benefit itself, food processors, and the medical industry. It is a blatant attempt to enslave the masses.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!