Friday, March 18, 2011

New US Dietary Guidelines

A simple map to the land of wholesome, by Jane Brody in the New York Times, discusses the new US Dietary Guidelines.

The article begins:

For the first time since it began issuing dietary guidelines, the government offered new recommendations last month that clearly favor the health and well-being of consumers over hard-lobbying farm interests.

The new science-based Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released Jan. 31 by the Departments of Agriculture and of Health and Human Services, are comprehensive, sensible, attainable and, for most people, affordable. They offer a wide variety of dietary options to help you eat better for fewer calories without undue sacrifice of dining pleasure.

Now it’s up to consumers to act on this advice and put the brakes on runaway obesity and the chronic diseases that cost billions of dollars before they kill.

The article continues:

Here is a summary of the guidelines, which combine the goals of fewer calories — and especially nutrient-poor calories from sugars, fats and refined grains — with more emphasis on nutrient-dense foods:

  • Eat lots more vegetables and fruits, filling half your plate with them.
  • Choose lean meats and poultry, and replace some of them with seafood.
  • Consume mainly nonfat or low-fat milk and other dairy products.
  • Choose low-sodium products and use less salt and salty ingredients in food preparation.
  • Eat more fiber-rich foods; replace most refined grains and grain-based foods with whole-grain versions.
  • Use vegetable oils like olive and canola oil instead of solid fats like butter and margarine, but remember that all fats have lots of calories.
  • Eat out less; cook at home more often.
  • Drink water, calorie-free beverages like coffee and tea, and 100 percent fruit juice instead of regular sodas, fruit drinks and energy drinks; limit alcoholic drinks to one a day for women, two for men.
  • Eat less and exercise more to achieve a better balance of caloric intake and output.
 Find the full pdf of the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans by clicking here.  Want to compare with the local version?  Find the pdf of the Dietary Guidelines for Australians by clicking here.  A blog entry to share with your Home Economics, PDHPE and science teachers; not just for the basic content, but for the implications about the influence of vested interests on public health initiatives.



Images: my own, using the Hipstamatic iPhone app (see my blog entry about this for more information) and a few moments at a local supermarket.  From memory, John S. lens and Kodot film.

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