Healthy Is In the Eye of The Beholder

Come one, come all...step right up for the biggest show on earth!

Come one, come all…step right up for the biggest show on earth!

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.

 

 

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About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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78 Responses to Healthy Is In the Eye of The Beholder

  1. Pingback: Healthy Is In the Eye of The Beholder — Peg-o-Leg’s Ramblings | gramirezblog

  2. franhunne4u says:

    ÝES, finally advice I can agree with. Whatever is the question/problem – chocolate is the answer!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was looking for a nutritionist. You’re hired. For clarification, do MoonPies count as a chocolate or a grain, or re they doubly healthy because they fit both groups?

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Elyse says:

    Right on. I’m on the Peg-o-Leg diet from here on out!

    BTW in real life I have to make sense of similar types of studies. Sometimes I just ram my head on the desk and it all begins to make sense!

    Like

  5. Is any part of your pyramid backed up by scientific research? Because the old pyramid wasn’t either. Everything we were told about dairy and grain and sugar was heavily influenced by lobbyists in those industries, so if your pyramid isn’t being funded by any lobbyists I’m ready to accept your recommendations as a much more credible source.

    I’m looking forward to unpacking the pyramid I used to serve food from before the government switched to the plate.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wait, where DOES the pizza go?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. John says:

    The Egyptians and their pyramids have nuthin’ on you!

    Like

  8. Go Jules Go says:

    I answered A and B. Do two rights make a super-right? I’m glad you stuck with the pyramid, too, because I always run out of room on my plate.

    My favorite is still when people tell me they don’t eat fruit -raw, fresh fruit- because it has too many carbs.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. [crunches slowly….looks down in shame…..puts down 2 pound vat of spinach dip]

    While I LOVE the Peg-o-leg Pyramid, I think people would really be impressed with my idea — the Food Parallelogram. The entire diagram consists of 5-10 servings of chocolate, with each corner 1-2 servings of wine. Tofu is outside the parallelogram and is not to be eaten in any way, shape or form.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I’m sure the new eating guidelines from our friendly neighborhood USDA will soon come with a tagline:

    Don’t hate the plate.

    I just take the USDA recommendations and do the exact opposite.

    Like

  11. List of X says:

    So just to be clear, the stuff that’s left outside of the Peg-o-mid, like bacon, cheese, burgers, and hotdogs, that’s not considered food and I can eat them as much as I want, right?

    Like

  12. I’m demanding you be given the federal job of Food Czar! (Circus is much more appropriate than pyramids…what kid can actually relate to a pyramid?…adults are familiar with/worry about pyramid schemes, so they might avoid any sort of pyramid….maybe call it the Funnel Cake Food Chart? Has powdered sugar!)
    Can we put grilled salmon in the thrid layer? Either steak or salmon ( and maybe shrimp) and I’m good.
    Oh, sorry soy – you’re not so good after all. (It looks weird anyway) Research now showing strong link to thryoid disfuntion and Hashimoto disease which is close to epidemic in women far too young to have it – and kids who are raised strict vegetarians. If lung cancer/disesase doesn’t get you with cigarettes, bladder cancer will – definitely…better hope for the first one first.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I read how important it was for teenage girls and young women to eat soy during those years, so I replaced milk with soy for my kids. Then they said it may increase their risk of other diseases. Gaaahhh! it gives me chills to think I may have harmed them by trying to do the right thing.

      Like

      • Yeah, I switched to soy to be healthier, then total disaster. But you just have to remember as Gilda said “It’s always something” I had a prof once who justified eating non-organic foods by saying the preservatives might make him live longer…he’s still around – so who knows. Basically what works for one won’t for others…great…humans like definite answers. Arrrrgh

        Like

  13. This seems entirely logical and sensible, Peg!

    But I am concerned…I do not see a category for wine. I’m hoping this does not fall into the “Top Layer” with the other fruits.

    Like

  14. Janice Wald says:

    Hi Peg,
    Hi,
    I met you at Susie Lindau’s Meet and Greet. You sounded funny, so I came over. Your graphic header with the evolution… I have the graphic on a shirt!
    Maybe you can check out my blog if you need a blogging tip or two. That’s what I write about.
    I brought you the link to my About page, so you can read more about my blog:
    http://www.mostlyblogging.com/about/
    Like Susie, I have regular networking events each month. Nice to meet you.
    Janice

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Hi Janice – thanks for stopping by. That Susie knows how to throw a party, doesn’t she?

      I love that you have the evolution graphic on a t-shirt. Mine also reflects the de-evolution (devolution? Not sure which is correct) from upright man back to me.

      Thanks for the link. I’ve been blogging quite a long time, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t new things to learn. I’ll check out your place.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Al says:

    It always takes an altruistic person like Peg-o-leg to sift through the debris of so-called scientific knowledge to weed out those whose hidden agenda has tried to get us to buy their “healthy” (ha, ha) products. Imagine, people calling on us to eat right just to line their own pockets. All this time, donuts (the most misunderstood of all food groups), Snickers, Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream, and eggnog have been spoiling on the shelf when they could have been nourishing our bodies, not to mention our souls. You’re a saint, Peg.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Donuts have been so maligned. It’s clearly a smear-campaign orchestrated by the Grapefruit Growers Association, which is little better than a mob.

      My natural modesty prevents me from agreeing with every complimentary word there, Al, even though I do. Agree.

      Liked by 2 people

  16. Ahh Peg, I’ve missed you and your blog over these last few absent months…well the months haven’t been absent, I have…well I haven’t been absent from everywhere, just blogland. I’m sure you’re glad I’ve clarified that, in the same way that I’m glad you’ve clarified the rules around eating. I’m clearly ahead of my time, I’ve been a proponent (is that the right word?) of this eating method for some time now.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      VJ! I’ve missed you, too, and thanks for clarifying. Hope you’ve been absent from blog life because real life is so fabulous you couldn’t stand to tear yourself away.

      Like

  17. Bill The Praise And Worship Guy says:

    I figured it out — if you eat like this pyramid your body will be shaped by said pyramid! (only with a smile at the top!)

    Like

  18. Bill The Praise And Worship Guy says:

    LIKE said pyramid…

    Like

  19. lexiemom says:

    Shouldn’t your food structure be a circle instead of a pyramid, since round is the resulting shape your body will be after following this food plan?

    Like

  20. mbtiloveit says:

    Mm, this is good. I like this idea. Please implement it right away.

    Like

  21. So true. Healthy can be such a subjective thing. That is until you lose your health.

    Like

  22. J.Rockwell says:

    I enjoyed reading your post and I looked forward to reading more. Too funny! I started a blog 2 weeks ago. Can you help me get followers?

    Like

  23. evenmoreyou says:

    Haha awe your post killed me- but I do agree that health is in the eye of the beholder. I think it is funny when doctors say one thing to only change later and the same with different health studies. I personally believe in moderation, too much of anything can be a bad thing.

    Thank!
    Carlee- evenmoreyou.wordpress.com

    Like

  24. How funny. After all it is about living life to the fullest. Why not.

    Like

  25. Pingback: Healthy Is In the Eye of The Beholder — Peg-o-Leg’s Ramblings | sherriadamsblog

  26. Jerry says:

    Reblogged this on The General Fitness Company and commented:
    Funny perspective on eating in the age of information overload. What should we eat? Everything!…and nothing…

    Like

  27. Be sure to check out http://www.thebestbrainfood.com for all your dietary needs!

    Like

  28. Sorry, but I can’t accept as healthy, any pyramid that doesn’t have bacon at or near it’s base.

    Like

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