Here are 8 condensed take aways from the new 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The 2015 guidelines are the first to remove the specific recommendation to keep cholesterol under 300mg/day. This doesn’t mean cholesterol is a free for all though. The underlying message is cholesterol from an egg yolk is different from cholesterol from a porterhouse steak.
The 2010 key recommendation to reduce daily sodium intake to less than 2,300mg was maintained in 2015. Science has continued to show us that too much salt really does harm but the focus has shifted to processed sources of salt.
Sugar is slowly becoming the new highlight of health media attention. The messaging to reduce added sugars was maintained from 2010 to 2015 with the addition of a specified calorie limit. A 2015 Dietary Guidelines’ key recommendation encourages Americans to “consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from added sugars.” Do you know what added sugars are?
Choose your protein wisely. Be purposeful to choose quality sources of “a variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas).”
Ooowee this is a BIG controversy in my dietitian world. It’s called the “big fat fat debate.” The key recommendation to eat less than 10% of calories from saturated fatty acids was maintained from the 2010 to 2015 Dietary Guidelines, but there is a slight variation in language to try to appease both camps.
Trans Fatty Acids
Advice to keep trans fat intake as low as possible is consistent because we know these fats really are linked to heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer.
Refined Grains & Solid Fats
Recognizing and purposefully limiting refined grains and solid fats were mentioned throughout the guidelines.
New to the 2015 guidelines, caffeine recommendations were given due to an increase in coffee research. “Moderate coffee consumption (three to five 8-oz cups/day or providing up to 400 mg/day of caffeine) can be incorporated into healthy eating patterns.” This included cautions concerning drinks with added sugars, mixing alcohol and caffeine, individuals who do not already consume caffeinated beverages and women who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or who are breast-feeding.