Originally Posted by WereBear
I think recent history illustrates this. Prior to the Food Pyramid, the Four Food Groups allowed starches on the plate far more than sugar. In my case, this makes a difference; maybe even if only in concentration.
But even the starches were far more limited with the 4 basic food groups than they are now. Potatoes were lumped in with bread, pasta, cereals, and other grains in the oldest 4 food groups classifications, because they were all starch based.
It's difficult now to even find information about the 4 food groups and how many servings were recommended back then (much less images of the 4 food group posters from the 50's and 60's), but if I'm recalling correctly, each meal was basically a serving of starch (usually 2 slices of bread or one slice of bread plus a small serving of potatoes or cereal - and bread slices were most often white bread, and smaller in size back then than they are now), 2 servings of vegetables (not
a vegetable and a fruit (juice was permitted as a 4 oz serving), a serving of meat (4 oz, not the pitiful 2 oz recommended now), and a serving of dairy (whole milk and/or real cheese) at each meal. Fats like real butter fit in with the meal to spread on your bread, or season your veggies. Easy, and it didn't cause nearly as many metabolic problems for nearly as many people.
In the 70's (I have an old college textbook from then with this information in it), potatoes had been quietly moved to the fruit and vegetable group - but they were the very last item on the fruit and vegetable list, with vegetables clearly preferred, followed by fruit (preferably whole fruit, not juice), and finally potatoes - small potatoes, not the huge 1 lb baking potatoes we see these days. There were also alternatives offered for the meat group - you could have some beans or peanut butter, but again the very last option on the list, the assumption being that you'd get the vast majority of your protein from various animal products. Dairy was a separate group (milk, cheese, eggs), which means you also got protein from that group too. Real fats - butter was added to season vegetables, or spread on bread. Fruit was served with cream. Cheese was full fat. Meat didn't have most of the fat trimmed away. For hamburger, 30% fat was the norm. Pork and beef were well marbled. Chicken was always on the bone, with the skin intact.
So different from now with the pyramid and plate - far too much starch, far too little protein, far too much of the protein being plant based, and hardly any fat, much less real, naturally occurring fat.