How to Not Eat Like the Guys at Epic Meal Time

For years, many countries have been trying to create the perfect diagram for nutrition guidelines. For Americans, the most well known example of a nutrition guideline is the USDA Food pyramid. Examples of guideline diagrams around the world include such things as a set of stairs, a pagoda, a house, a top, and even a rainbow. That being said, there are cultural differences in what dietary lifestyles are considered healthy from country to country. A number of questions must be asked in order to determine what the best example is. Which diagram is the best representation of nutrition? What are the differences among cultures? Should we stick to the pyramid or change to something else?

Using the link above, we can observe a variety of diagrams. Some of them are clearly better than others (I'm partially Hungarian, and that Hungarian diagram is very unimaginative and sad by comparison), and some are downright confusing. The Hungarian, German, Greek, and Canadian diagrams are either boring/unimaginative or very confusing. My personal favorite diagram in this slideshow is the British diagram for a number of reasons. First of all, the diagram is of a plate, which gives some scope and familiarity to nutrition guidelines. Also, by describing portion sizes in reference to a dinner plate, it become much easier to read and understand. However, I wish they had included water and exercise (maybe being represented by the fork and knife?), as that would complete the guideline.

By analyzing the various diagrams, it is clear that there are a plethora of cultural differences among the guidelines. For example, the Japanese diagram has dairy and fruit in the restricted zone, with less than 2 servings a day. This is vastly different from the USDA food pyramid, which suggests 3-4 servings of fruit. Also, it is worth pointing out that various countries suggest different servings of meat, where fish will be popular in one country, poultry will be popular in another. That being said, what is considered healthy changes depending on the culture in question.

In conclusion, regardless of the country or culture, there are various ways to shape your diet to avoid being like a guy straight out of Epic Meal Time. Ideally, you aren't going to want to eat a Meatball Deathstar, and these guidelines are there to let you know that it's a bad idea to do so.