`U.S. Announces New Dietary Guidelines - Olive Oil Times

U.S. Announces New Dietary Guidelines

Jan. 28, 2016
Sukhsatej Batra

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The United States Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services have released the eighth edi­tion of its Dietary Guidelines for Americans on January 7.

Updated every five years, the Guidelines incor­po­rate cur­rent sci­en­tific and med­ical knowl­edge to improve health and reduce risk of chronic dis­eases by pro­mot­ing healthy eat­ing habits of Americans. According to the report, About half of all American adults have one or more pre­ventable, diet-related chronic dis­eases, includ­ing car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, type 2 dia­betes, and over­weight and obe­sity.”

Unlike pre­vi­ous guide­lines that rec­om­mended con­sump­tion of food groups and nutri­ents, the 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines focus on healthy eat­ing pat­terns. The aim is to give Americans greater flex­i­bil­ity in terms of choos­ing a diet that would work for them in terms of meet­ing their indi­vid­ual pref­er­ences and nutri­ent needs.

The healthy eat­ing pat­tern includes the usual list of foods to include in the diet such as dark green, red and orange veg­eta­bles, fruits, legumes, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy prod­ucts, nuts, seeds, soy prod­ucts, lean meats, poul­try, eggs, and seafood. The key rec­om­men­da­tions, how­ever, empha­sizes healthy eat­ing as a lifestyle change that would help main­tain a healthy weight and lower risk of chronic dis­eases.

Americans con­sume more than the rec­om­mended amounts of added sug­ars, sat­u­rated fats and sodium. In view of this, the new guide­lines rec­om­mend con­sum­ing less than 10 per­cent of calo­ries per day from added sug­ars. This amount would come from a 16-ounce soda drink for a 2,000-calorie diet, accord­ing to Tanya Zuckerbrot, a reg­is­tered dietit­ian in New York City. A bet­ter choice would be to drink plain water instead of sugar or arti­fi­cially sweet­ened bev­er­ages. The guide­lines spec­ify that if arti­fi­cially sweet­ened bev­er­ages are con­sumed, intake of the sweet­en­ers should not exceed accept­able daily lim­its set by the FDA.

The 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines also rec­om­mend an intake of less than 10 per­cent of calo­ries per day from sat­u­rated fats. This means replac­ing most sat­u­rated fats in the diet with unsat­u­rated fats such as olive oil, sun­flower oil, soy­bean oil, flax seed oil and nuts, which are asso­ci­ated with low­ered risk of heart attacks due to the pres­ence of monoun­sat­u­rated and polyun­sat­u­rated fats.
See Also: How to Pair Olive Oil with Foods
The rec­om­men­da­tions also include reduc­ing sodium intake to less than 2,300 mil­ligrams per day as higher intakes are asso­ci­ated with high blood pres­sure.

To trans­late the rec­om­men­da­tions in the guide­lines into prac­ti­cal advice, the 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines include three Healthy Eating Food Patterns: the Healthy U.S.-Style Eating Pattern; the Healthy Mediterranean-Style Eating Pattern; and the Healthy Vegetarian Eating Pattern. Personal vari­a­tions and pref­er­ences to any of these dietary pat­terns with other nutri­ent-dense foods and appro­pri­ate por­tion sizes can help Americans meet their nutri­ent needs from their diet.

The Healthy U.S.-Style Eating Pattern, most sim­i­lar to the healthy eat­ing dietary pat­tern rec­om­mended in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, is based on foods typ­i­cally con­sumed by Americans. Consuming the nutri­ent-dense forms and amounts of the foods rec­om­mended in this eat­ing pat­tern will enable indi­vid­u­als to meet their require­ments for essen­tial nutri­ents.

Two newer USDA Food Patterns included in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines that were not present in pre­vi­ous guide­lines are the Healthy Mediterranean-Style Eating Pattern, which is based on the health ben­e­fits of the Mediterranean diet, and the Healthy Vegetarian Eating Pattern for those opt­ing to eat a plant-based diet.

The Healthy Mediterranean-Style Eating Pattern, a mod­i­fied form of the Healthy U.S.-Style Eating Pattern, rec­om­mends con­sum­ing more seafood and fruits, and less dairy such as those con­sumed on a Mediterranean diet.

The Healthy Vegetarian Eating Pattern is the third healthy eat­ing pat­tern for indi­vid­u­als who abstain from eat­ing meat, poul­try or seafood. This pat­tern includes a higher con­sump­tion of legumes, soy prod­ucts, seeds and nuts, while intake of other food groups remains the same as the Healthy U.S.-Style Eating Pattern.

While the new Dietary Guidelines pro­vide rec­om­men­da­tions that pol­i­cy­mak­ers, health-care and pro­fes­sion­als can use to pro­mote healthy eat­ing, the guide­lines can help Americans make the right food and bev­er­age choices to reduce their risk of diet-asso­ci­ated chronic dis­eases.


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