The New Food Pyramid: Why official dietary recommendations differ from current nutritional knowledge

Food Pyramid

Last week saw the launch of Ireland’s latest Healthy Food for Life Food Pyramid. This new model brings us closer to the Harvard Pyramid model, designed to make you eat healthier and provide advice on how to balance your diet.


We asked our Director and founder, Richard Burton to share his thoughts on the new Food Pyramid….


Vegetables vs. starchy foods

“I think the new version reflects a shift in a good direction, with vegetables, salad and fruit now replacing the largest shelf of the pyramid formerly occupied by starchy foods.


But when it comes to fats, spreads & oils, I feel there’s still too much emphasis on reducing amounts, instead of on better quality products.

Reduced-fat spreads – recommended in the new pyramid – are made from cheap, ultra-refined oils with all their fat-soluble vitamins and other valuable factors stripped out. Loaded with omega 6 fatty acids yet devoid of omega 3, these low-grade products contribute to the inflammation-related health problems suffered by so many people. Reduced-fat spreads are ‘fake’ foods that have no place in a healthy diet.

Why official dietary recommendations differ from current nutritional knowledge

If you wonder why official dietary recommendations often seem disconnected from current nutritional knowledge, Professor of Public Health at UCC, Ivan Perry, explains:  ‘Food pyramids in all countries are a compromise between science, the government and the food sector. The idea that they are purely based on nutritional science is not true.’

So, if the official Food Pyramid is born of compromise, it might be wise for people who don’t believe in compromising their health to take it with a pinch of (sea)salt!”

Come and share your thoughts with us on Facebook here:

We would love to know – Do you think it’s a positive move? What is your understanding? Will it make you change your eating habits? Do you even refer to the food pyramid for dietary considerations?

If you would like to learn more about nutrition and a healthy lifestyle, check out our Nutrition and Health Coaching Course!

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