Fresh for the new year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released new 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The new Guidelines put a heavy emphasis on developing healthy eating patterns, suggesting that a daily diet include a variety and mix of nutrient-dense foods from the food groups and subgroups within an appropriate calorie level.
Here are a few key points:
- Limit sugar, saturated fats, and salt. Added sugar should comprise less than 10% of your calories per day; same for saturated fats.
- Eat less meat. Choose lean protein from healthy sources, such as seafood, soy, seeds, beans, and tofu.
- Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables of various subgroups.
- Make half of your grains whole grains. Limit the intake of refined grains.
- Limit intake of trans fats to as low as possible by limiting foods that contain synthetic sources of trans fats.
- Choose fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages. Eggs can be a part of your diet – the limit on cholesterol is lifted.
- Choose healthy beverages, including water. Limit alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages. Up to 3 to 5 eight ounce cups of coffee per day is OK.
- Be active. Meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
Guidelines spark controversy
The new Guidelines are not without controversy and reactions have been mixed. For example, many nutritionists are disappointed the new Guidelines did not reference or take a cue from the World Health Organization, which recently classified processed meat as a carcinogen and red meat as a probable carcinogen.
Here’s a roundup of reviews: