The U.S. government today released updated nutritional guidelines that encourage Americans to adopt a series of science-based recommendations to improve how they eat in an effort to reduce obesity and prevent chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans is one of the nation’s leading resource for evidence-based nutrition recommendations and serves to provide the general public, as well as policy makers and health professionals with information to help the public make informed choices about their diets at home, school, work and in their communities.
The new guidelines say that Americans should consume (note that when mentioning dairy and protein, soy is listed as an alternative):
- A variety of vegetables, including dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy and other vegetables
- Fruits, especially whole fruits
- Grains, at least half of which are whole grains
- Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages
- A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), soy products, and nuts and seeds
- Oils, including those from plants: canola, corn, olive, peanut, safflower, soybean, and sunflower. Oils also are naturally present in nuts, seeds, seafood, olives, and avocados
Furthermore, the guidelines state that Americans should be encouraged to consume:
- Less than 10 percent of calories per day from added sugars.
- Less than 10 percent of calories per day from saturated fats.
- Less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day of sodium for people over the age of 14 years and less for those younger.
“Protecting the health of the American public includes empowering them with the tools they need to make healthy choices in their daily lives,” said Secretary Burwell. “By focusing on small shifts in what we eat and drink, eating healthy becomes more manageable. The Dietary Guidelines provide science-based recommendations on food and nutrition so people can make decisions that may help keep their weight under control, and prevent chronic conditions, like Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.”
“The Dietary Guidelines for Americans is one of many important tools that help to support a healthier next generation of Americans,” said Secretary Vilsack. “The latest edition of the Dietary Guidelines provides individuals with the flexibility to make healthy food choices that are right for them and their families and take advantage of the diversity of products available, thanks to America’s farmers and ranchers.”