This pyramid is followed a little stricter than his more famous brother
 Not sure if this came across your radar, but a lot of the people in the fitness and nutrition industry are interested in. Every 5 years the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) comes up with updated dietary guidelines. Here are some of the recommendations:
  • Fat intake: 20% to 35% of total calories
  • Saturated fat: less than 10% of total calories (mono- and polyunsaturated fats may be substituted)
  • Trans-fats: less than 1% of calories
  • Cholesterol: less than 300 mg
  • Fiber: 14 g per 1,000 calories
  • Potassium: 4,700 mg
  • Sodium: less than 1,500 mg for all African Americans and those with hypertension, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease (including children), as well as persons older than 51; everyone else is advised to consume under 2,300 mg of sodium a day
  • Fruits and vegetables: at least 2.5 cups
  • Refined grains: less than 3 oz
Did you write all that down? Probably not. My fellow Adventure Boot Camp instructor Dr. Chris Mohr (who also happens to be Registered Dietitian and Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics) made a great point. We all don't eat off of a pyramid, we eat off plates. You don't enjoy a tall glass of calcium, you drink milk. He makes the point that the guidelines need to be more "real" to people. He came out with a few guidelines that might be more "real" to you. 
  1. Don't drink soda.  It's like pouring toxic sludge down your throat.
  2. Every single meal and snack should contain a vegetable and/or fruit.
  3. If the fat you're looking at is solid at room temperature, leave it there (think butter and animal fat).
  4. Replace the solid fats with liquid fats, like olive and canola oils, for example.
  5. Eat fish at least 2 times per week. 
  6. Trans fat will kill you - you get it from eating French fries, many baked goods, pastries, and a lot of other packaged items.  Avoid these.
  7. Throw the salt shaker away.  Seasonings, herbs, and even citrus zest offer a better alternative.
  8. Use divided picnic plates to help with portions - the large section should be filled with veggies and/or fruit, the smaller sections should be reserved for a lean protein and the other for a high fiber whole grain
  9. All carbohydrates you eat should have 3 or more grams of fiber/serving. 
  10. Don't eat out more times each week that you eat "in" - eating at home is always a better option.  And when you do eat out, ask for a "doggie bag" BEFORE your meal is served at restaurants - it will help cut the portions in half.
  11. If a food turns your fingers or milk another color OR has a cartoon on the package, toss it out if it's in your house and leave it on the shelf the next time you're at the grocery store.
  12. MOVE more and move often.  Never go more than 60 minutes without standing up for your desk and at the very least walking around the office.  In addition, set aside time for structured exercise.