Weight Management

The new food pyramid/ whale

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When it comes to nutrition and dietary advice, listen to anyone at your peril. A couple of years ago I wrote an article on how to lose weight (read article here) it was a very general article, and pretty easy to follow. Essentially ignore the advice we get from so called ‘experts’ and start by halving virtually everything that’s white on your plate, chips, bread, rice, sugar etc. and you will have made a great start. I didn’t get into nutrition as I am not an expert in that field, just some simple advice that holds just as true today.

We were all taught that there was a hierarchy of foods we should eat in declining volumes; eat lots of breads, pastas and cereals, less fruits and vegetables … until we get all the way up to the foods we should avoid, with sugar being at the top.

No surprise the food pyramid came from the fattest country on earth, the good ole US of doughnut, I mean A.

Food pyramid


The Heart Foundation has just designed a new healthy food guide. The good news is that it is no longer a food ‘pyramid’; the bad news is – it’s a food ‘whale’.


I think it is an improvement on the pyramid, but then anything would have to be better than the food pyramid dreamed up by corrupt vested interests in the US food industry. It does emphasise eating lots of fruit and vegetables, and that’s a good idea, but some of the other advice looks to be more about supporting their own entrenched anti fat position.

It emphasises the low fat options, lean skinless meat, low fat dairy and yoghurt etc. with just a few grains and nuts recommended. There is little detail as to exactly which ones to eat or avoid, i.e. its very general advice.

I am strongly against this whole low fat idea, it’s fat that makes you feel full, and therefore stop eating sooner. I believe that fat, protein and exercise is a good combination. You don’t need a heap of refined carbohydrates; eat less breads, pastas, rice etc. and more fruit and vegetables – but not always raw!

That’s right, the advice we have had to eat everything raw is also bunkum. Many vegetables release different nutrients when eaten raw vs. cooked, like spinach. Spinach eaten raw has less iron than cooked, strange but true. It also has a completely different profile for a range of other nutrients. Some other examples can be found here


The new healthy eating chart tries to eliminate fat, but those who have read some of the articles we have produced about the different types of fats, utilising the expertise of oil and fats expert Dr Laurence Eyres will no doubt appreciate that many fats are extremely good for us, and in fact essential. People who live on a Mediterranean diet are amongst the healthiest in the world, and they certainly don’t give a hoot how much olive oil they use, no calorie counting there.

Look at the advice we have had over the last few decades from the so called experts, and often the government…

Stay out of the sun! Vitamin D deficiency  more cancers and the return of the bone disease rickets

The food pyramid – when you compare it to what we know about nutrition and diet you can only wonder how many people have died because of this advice through diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Don’t eat eggs – they raise your cholesterol!! Scared the whole country away from eggs in the 1990’s despite there being no evidence they raised cholesterol, in fact they are an excellent source of protein.

The handful of examples above indicates  that we should largely ignore public health messages from the government. They never openly admit when they are wrong, and getting them to move from their positions, even in the face of overwhelming evidence is like trying to turn a super tanker. The heart foundation is another example of this, they cling to their low fat message, but it is far too simplified an argument. The food (bread) pyramid was a disaster that lasted decades, despite countless studies demonstrating it was carbs making us fat, official advice is only starting to change now.

Diet is much more complex than the dumbed down messages we get from authorities and experts. People have different food intolerances to boot, something I am finding out at the moment. I really think the one size fits all approach has had its day, and in clinging to simple messages such as ‘avoid fats wherever possible’, means that in 10 more years they will be unveiling the new food chart, maybe one shaped like an elephant this time.


Daniel King, MSc (hons)


  1. Oh my goodness! When will these people get it? This is so sad that they’re passing on such drastically health-destroying information. If people follow this advice, they will succumb to all the diseases they are wanting (or are they?) to protect them from, including dementias (Dr David Perlmutter – “Grain Brain”. They must know that it’s the carbohydrates – grains, sugars, processed foods – and vegetable oils that are killing people. They must know that all the grains are causing inflammation leading to enormous weight gain and pretty much everything else. If they really believe that all those breads, cereals, grains and starchy vegetables, that they have placed near the top of this ridiculous whale thing (but, how apt), are good for humans, then they need to seriously look at their research team. However, I guess they’re supported by the grain industry and they only exist because of the heart-diet HYPOTHESIS so if they demonize the ‘good’ grain, they’ll fold because heart disease will pretty much vanish. I’m afraid there are too many organisations & drug companies making a lot of money from this hypothesis which has never been proven despite mega dollars being spent to do so. I find this so very depressing. I’m just thankful that I’ve learned from hours of reading, watching & listening to the experts and not the medical establishment. Dr Perlmutter’s book and Dr Davis’ “Wheatbelly” book are good places to start and there are volumes more.
    Thank you for reporting on this.

    • Oh, and I absolutely agree about the saturated fats. We did not evolve for 99.9% of our time on a low-fat diet. We would never have survived. Nor did we evolve on a high carb diet (at least until we became agriculturalists, and have since ‘devolved’) nor man-made, hydrogenated oils, and all the other processed foods. We’ll never hear about it in mainstream media because they’d lose money from all the advertising drug companies pay for. There was a report not long ago, hidden in the back of the Herald, about Johnson & Johnson being fined over $2 billion dollars for fraud. You can bet there would have been repercussions from big pharma if that had been on the front page. So corrupt.

  2. Lloyd Derbyshire Reply

    “Use some nuts oils” . . . these people need to get a grip. Lets harpoon that giant load of garbage and render the good oil.

    Check this out: http://kelo.com/news/articles/2013/nov/20/eating-nuts-tied-to-fewer-cancer-heart-disease-deaths/

    I quote:

    “It’s just like coffee and eggs used to be demonized,” Blumberg said. “Eggs used to be a heart attack in a shell. Nuts are high in fat, but they’re high in good fats.”


    “People who reported eating nuts at least five times per week were 29 percent less likely to die of heart disease, in particular, than those who avoided nuts. They were also 24 percent less likely to die of respiratory conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and 11 percent less likely to die of cancer.”

    Perhaps nut’s should be the arse end of the hippo or whatever other silly mammal you care to choose!

  3. margaret lorenzen Reply

    Hi by eating good food with less fat and suger and doing a lot of walking i have loss about 75 to 80 kg it can be done

  4. I think that the author of this article and some of the people responding have totally missed the point, the new “food pyramid” is a “healthy heart” visual food guide and is focused on looking after your heart based on the cardio protective diet. It is a heart-healthy eating pattern and is definitely not designed or advocated to be the gold standard of diets. It is also not trying to address issues such as gluten intolerance/gluten sensitivities. It is also not targeting healthy, food conscious people.

    There are many things about the guide that we could all probably pick holes in but the point is that if you are at risk of heart disease through poor food choices then by following this eating guide along with making other sensible lifestyle changes you should find an improvement in heart health. Considering that heart disease is NZ’s #1 killer, I think that this is definitely moving in the right direction to help reduce the incidence of premature deaths.

    There are a large proportion of the population that could benefit, so let’s be supportive and keep focused on what the guide and the Heart Foundation is trying to achieve by spreading the message and keeping our loved ones alive longer.
    Well done to the Heart Foundation.

    • Excellently put Marie,

      As someone that has had 2 bouts of heart disease at a reasonably young age, the Heart Foundation is quite close, and even may be influenced, by the approaches of Dr Dean Ornish, and Dr Caldwell Esselstyn, both of which have clinical studies published regarding the benefit of this approach to halt and even reverse heart disease.

      As someone who has followed this approach stringently in the last 5 months, the change in my health profile, blood work, blood pressure, blood sugar, etc, has been remarkable.

      Plant based nutrition as much as possible is the answer, and this appears is the recommendation by the Heart Foundation.

      Overeating made us fat, not carbs.

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