The release of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines while seemingly almost a year off was actually released, according to their original time table which is remarkable given the year we’ve had. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and US Department of Agriculture presented the updated dietary guidelines that now provide guidance for healthy dietary patterns for every stage of life including the newly sections on infants and toddlers, pregnancy and breast feeding. The guidelines are all inclusive, applying to all Americans, regardless of personal dietary preferences, age, race, gender, cultural, religious or budgetary considerations. Here’s a snapshot of the guidelines.
Four Key Messages frame the “Make Every Bite Count” call to action:
- Follow a healthy dietary pattern at every life stage. “It is never to early or too late to eat healthy.” Over 40? Still need apply.
- Customize and enjoy nutrient-dense food and beverage choices to reflect personal preferences, cultural traditions and budgetary considerations. In general this allows a little wiggle room ~15% of calories for added sugars, saturated fat and alcohol (if consumed) while ~85% should be nutrient dense.
- Focus on meeting food group needs (there are 5: fruit, vegetable, grain, dairy and protein) with nutrient-dense foods and beverages while staying with your individual calorie limits.
- Limit foods and beverages in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium and limit alcoholic beverages.
The focus as always is on obtaining your nutrition through real food and beverages, eating a wide variety of foods within each food group and managing your portion sizes. The devil is always in the details.
What’s On Your Plate?
“Are you making every bite count” or at least 85% of them? MyPlate the USDA consumer resource has been retooled to be a fun, hip site complete with Start Simply with Myplate app to help you pick daily food goals, join challenges and earn fun badges and celebrate your success. It’s a free, personalized resource based on your eating needs and habits that can actually save you money by creating a shopping plan, shopping smart and making your food dollars stretch.
These remain largely unchanged and include:
- Limiting added sugars to <10% of total calories/day for ages 2 and older
- Avoiding added sugars for infants and toddlers
- Limiting saturated fat to <10% of calories/day starting at age 2
- Limiting sodium intake to <10% of calories/day (or even less if younger than age 14)
- Limiting alcoholic beverages if consumed to 2 drinks or less a day for men and 1 drink or less a day for women. Pregnant women and some adults should not drink alcohol at all.
While at a glance, the changes may seem subtle, check back over the next few weeks as we delve into the scientific evidence behind the new guidelines and what it means for your better health.
Categories: Nutrition & Wellness