National Dietary Guidelines Finally Updated

WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2011 — US Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced the release of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the federal government’s evidence-based nutritional guidance to promote health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity through improved nutrition and physical activity.
(See Full Article at http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/dietaryguidelines.htm)

The 2010 update places a stronger emphasis on reducing consumption of particular foods and food components. Here is a brief summary of highlights:

I agree with the following assessments:

  • Reduce sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day, with an even further reduction to 1,500 mg per day for about half the population, including African Americans, all adults 51 and older, and those with hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.
  • Consume less saturated fat by replacing it with unsaturated fats. Avoiding trans fat remains a key recommendation.
  • Reduce intake of solid fats and added sugars.
  • Limit intake of refined grains, especially those with added sugar, fat and sodium.

The new guidelines also recommends the increased consumption of certain foods and nutrients:

  • Shift to a more plant-based diet. USDA food patterns, the DASH diet and Mediterranean-style eating are promoted.
  • Increase consumption of seafood by choosing it in place of meat and poultry.
  • Choose more foods that are rich in potassium, fiber, calcium and vitamin D–all nutrients of concern in American diets.

Regarding those guidelines, I agree with increasing your seafood while decreasing beef and poultry.  However, you must be aware of the source of your seafood as there are ever increasing dangers of mercury and other chemical poisoning in our lakes and oceans.  Any meat that comes from whale source is considered dangerous with high levels of mercury.  It’s best to mix your protein sources and have a balance.  Also try to obtain your meats from organic sources (no hormones, no antibiotics, cage-free, etc).  You can also obtain whole proteins from a mix of vegetables and legumes.  Research the Raw Foods Diet to learn more.

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