New Dietary Guidelines Released


Eating and physical activity patterns that are focused on consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices, and being physically active can help people attain and maintain a healthy weight, reduce their risk of chronic disease, and promote overall health. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 exempli-fies these strategies through recommendations that accommodate the food preferences, cultural tradi-tions, and customs of the many and diverse groups who live in the United States.

 

These guidelines have been published jointly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

 

These Dietary Guideline recommendations encompass two over-arching concepts:

  • Maintain calorie balance over time to achieve and sustain a healthy weight. People who are most successful at achieving and maintaining a healthy weight do so through continued attention to consuming only enough calories from foods and beverages to meet their needs and by being physically active. To curb the obesity epidemic and improve their health, many Americans must decrease the calories they consume and increase the calories they expend through physical activity.


  •  
  • focus on consuming nutrient-dense foods and beverages. Americans currently consume too much sodium and too many calories from solid fats, added sugars, and refined grains. These replace nutrient-dense foods and beverages and make it difficult for people to achieve recommended nutrient intake while controlling calorie and sodium intake. A healthy eating pattern limits intake of sodium, solid fats, added sugars, and refined grains and emphasizes nutrient-dense foods and beverages—vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, beans and peas, and nuts and seeds.

 

Foods and food components to reduce

  • Reduce daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) and further reduce intake to 1,500 mg among persons who are 51 and older and those of any age who are African American or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease. The 1,500 mg recommendation applies to about half of the U.S. population, including children, and the majority of adults.
     

  • Consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fatty acids by replacing them with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
     

  • Consume less than 300 mg per day of dietary cholesterol.
     

  • Keep trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible by limiting foods that contain synthetic sources of trans fats, such as partially hydrogenated oils, and by limiting other solid fats.
     

  • Reduce the intake of calories from solid fats and added sugars.
     

  • Limit the consumption of foods that contain refined grains, especially refined grain foods that contain solid fats, added sugars, and sodium.
     

  • If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation—up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age.

 

 

Foods and nutrients to increase

 

Individuals should meet the following recommendations as part of a healthy eating pattern while staying within their calorie needs.

  • Increase vegetable and fruit intake.
     

  • Eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark-green and red and orange vegetables and beans and peas.
     

  • Consume at least half of all grains as whole grains. Increase whole-grain intake by replacing refined grains with whole grains.
     

  • Increase intake of fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, or fortified soy beverages.
     

  • Choose a variety of protein foods, which include seafood, lean meat and poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products, and unsalted nuts and seeds.
     

  • Increase the amount and variety of seafood consumed by choosing seafood in place of some meat and poultry.
     

  • Replace protein foods that are higher in solid fats with choices that are lower in solid fats and calories and/or are sources of oils.
     

  • Use oils to replace solid fats where possible.
     

  • Choose foods that provide more potassium, dietary fiber, calcium, and vitamin D, which are nutrients of concern in American diets. These foods include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and milk and milk products.

 

Recommendations for specific population groups

 

Women capable of becoming pregnant

  • Choose foods that supply heme iron, which is more readily absorbed by the body, additional iron sources, and enhancers of iron absorption such as vitamin C-rich foods.
     

  • Consume 400 micrograms (mcg) per day of synthetic folic acid (from fortified foods and/or supplements) in addition to food forms of folate from a varied diet.


Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding

  • Consume 8 to 12 ounces of seafood per week from a variety of seafood types. Due to their high methyl mercury content, limit white (albacore) tuna to 6 ounces per week and do not eat the following four types of fish: tilefish, shark, swordfish, and king mackerel.
     

  • If pregnant, take an iron supplement, as recommended by an obstetrician or other health care provider.


Individuals ages 50 years and older

  • Consume foods fortified with vitamin B12, such as fortified cereals, or dietary supplements.


Building healthy eating Patterns

  • Select an eating pattern that meets nutrient needs over time at an appropriate calorie level.
     

  • Account for all foods and beverages consumed and assess how they fit within a total healthy eating pattern.
     

  • Follow food safety recommendations when preparing and eating foods to reduce the risk of food borne illnesses.
     

  • Fortified soy beverages have been marketed as “soymilk,” a product name consumers could see in supermarkets and consumer materials. However, FDA’s regulations do not contain provisions for the use of the term soymilk. Therefore, in this document, the term “fortified soy beverage” includes products that may be marketed as soymilk.
     

  • Includes adolescent girls.
     

  • "Folic acid" is the synthetic form of the nutrient; whereas, “folate” is the form found naturally in foods.

These Key Recommendations are the most important in terms of their implications for improving public health. To get the full benefit, individuals should carry out the Dietary Guidelines recommendations in their entirety as part of an overall healthy eating pattern.



- WF Team

Dated 16 February 2011


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