Monday, October 8, 2012

Pyramid Scheme: It's just SAD

I forget where I first heard the acronym SAD used for the Standard American Diet, but it sure is spot-on.

Everyone I talk to understands the way I eat. I never get comments and questions like "Gosh, that sure doesn't sound low-fat" or "I have high cholesterol, I could never eat that way" or "How can you be healthy without whole grains?"


It seems like so many people are paying attention to "healthy" eating, or at least they are trying. Counting calories, eating diet foods, what have you.

So why, then, does no one seem to understand what a healthy diet really entails? Even some of the mass media is eschewing carbs (and thus, sometimes, grains). I know for a fact that I actually agreed with what Dr. Oz was saying the one time I saw him on TV...

Even people who are close to me, who understand the most about why I *try* to avoid grains, why I don't eat much processed stuff, why I soak my nuts and seeds, etc. make comments that just don't make any sense.

So it's not always that we are oblivious to what we're eating. It's that what we're taught is pretty much just blatantly wrong, and we just can't get it out of our heads.

I about screamed in delight when I read a blog post from a local doctor that told the TRUTH about grains: that they make your blood sugar spike (and, therefore, crash), then causing other hormonal issues and ultimately leading to weight gain and a whole host of other problems.


And DUH!

At least DUH for someone who made progress using the GAPS diet. And lost weight and gained muscle while eating plenty. And who feels at least marginally weird every time she eats rice pasta...

But I think back to that damn food pyramid that I still have embedded in my brain from junior high health classes. Remember that one? With the enormous base of breads and grains, it was like 6-11 servings/day? I know they've changed it since, but it's still ridiculous.

Not to mention that I, with no formal training in the area of dietetics, have taught dieticians at my office about gluten issues. They said they had no education or experience with it. That is just not right. I know some great dieticians, but it seems exceedingly weird to me that so many have no clue about Celiac. It seems like this has gotten better over the past 2-3 years, but geesh. If they aren't the experts, who are??

(Side note: when I was first diagnosed with Celiac, the doc told me nothing and referred me to a dietician. When I called to schedule the appointment, they didn't even know what Celiac was, but said that I could come talk to the dietician anyway and she would try to look something up about it. Because I couldn't do that myself...
Also, that it would be at my own expense, since my insurance only covered dietician visits in cases of diabetes. The insurance people were clueless too, by the way. I called to complain, since I have a condition which can only be managed by dietary intervention, and they basically told me I was SOL. Pretty sure I told them where they could stuff their whole wheat bagels...)

I often feel like I'm giving a lecture every time someone asks about what I'm eating. I consciously try to make things as general as possible. After all, it would be a VERY long conversation to fully explain it. But sometimes, I feel obligated to include as much of the story as possible. Maybe I'm not inconveniencing someone with my verbosity, maybe they will use the info to help someone else figure out their food-related problems. Maybe it will spark interest in real healthy food.

As long as we can just ignore that dumb pyramid. Thanks, USDA. Grain subsidies, anyone?

No comments: