The U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering a change in its food pyramid that would virtually eliminate white breads from Iowans’ diets. Cindy Conroy, a registered dietician at the Iowa Heart Center, says it appears the U-S-D-A is finally getting on board with what dieticians have long been saying — to steer away from enriched breads and toward higher fiber, whole-grain breads and cereals. Saying to eat whole-wheat or brown bread instead of white bread isn’t really a calorie-related issue, as Conroy says it’s a fiber issue. The whole-grain breads and cereals will make you feel fuller so you may not eat quite as much but slice-for-slice, she says there’s not much difference in calories between white and dark bread. While some who follow the Adkin’s Diet craze try to eliminate white bread and hamburger buns from their diets, Conroy says white bread is not necessarily a red flag. It’s all a matter of choices. She says it’s fine to have white bread for toast in the morning but then you have to get your needed fiber from other sources during the day. Conroy says the familiar food pyramid has been changed many times, with the most recent big change coming in 1992. She says this latest proposed change wouldn’t be very radical — it’d be helpful and health-ful. In addition to stressing whole-grain foods, the changes also include a new base to the pyramid which zeroes in on daily exercise and weight control.
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