The USDA and DHHS dietary guidelines for Americans are published every 5 years. The recent release includes a number of changes that are both realistic and achievable if you follow them regularly. Americans that stick to the guide are likely to improve their health over time.
"The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines provides guidance for choosing a healthy diet and focuses on preventing the diet-related chronic diseases that continue to affect our population. Its recommendations are ultimately intended to help individuals improve and maintain overall health and reduce the risk of chronic disease. Its focus is disease prevention, not treatment. This edition also includes data describing the significant differences between Americans’ current consumption and the Dietary Guidelines recommendations. It also recommends where shifts are encouraged to help people achieve healthy eating patterns." Says Sylvia M. Burwell, Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Thomas J. Vilsack, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Some of the content available in the free printable guideline includes following:
- Examples of Vegetables in Each Vegetable Subgroup
- Healthy Vegetarian Eating Pattern: Recommended Amounts of Food From Each Food Group at 12 Calorie Levels
- Alcoholic Drink-Equivalents of Select Beverages
- Potassium: Food Sources Ranked by Amounts of Potassium and Energy per Standard Food Portions and per 100 Grams of Foods
- Hidden Components in Eating Patterns
Amanda Foti, Senior RD of Selvera Wellness is a Registered Dietitian and a New York State Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist with a Masters in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. Amanda has a broad experience with nutrition and lifestyle in the clinical setting, and extensive training in cognitive behavioral therapy in relation to emotional eating and weight management counseling. NMFIT asked Foti to share her insight regarding the updated guidelines.
First, reducing added sugars is an important part of maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding serious chronic conditions including diabetes and obesity. The decision to include a specific guideline of 10% or less of your total daily calories from added sugars is great for two reasons:
1) It's an achievable and realistic goal vs completely cutting out sugars
2) Reducing sugar intake is one of the most impactful changes you can make to your diet
Moderate coffee consumptions are considered to be part of a healthy diet within the guidelines. In fact, studies report health benefits from the antioxidants found in coffee. I recommend no more than 2 or 3 cups per day.
For more information on the dietary guidelines click here!
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