The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, the panel of experts who review the Dietary Guidelines for revision every five years (published most recently in 2020), will change their recommendation about dietary cholesterol in the report they will send to the federal government in the next few weeks.
The current guidelines, and those of the past 40 years, restricted dietary cholesterol to 300 milligrams a day. For reference, an egg yolk has around 200 milligrams and a 6-ounce T-bone steak has 90 milligrams. In 2020, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology dropped their advice about cholesterol as well.
12 Delicious New Ways to Enjoy Your Eggs
True, cholesterol is a major part of the plaque that narrows the arteries in atherosclerosis, the underlying cause of heart disease and strokes, but only 20 percent of our blood cholesterol comes from diet. Our liver makes the rest. The issue is confounded because many high cholesterol foods are high in saturated fat and saturated fat and trans fat do add to blood lipid levels. Dietary cholesterol, which is found in animal-derived foods, is usually accompanied by saturated fats as in full-fat dairy products and the meat of domesticated animals. Egg yolks and crustaceans (crabs, lobsters, shrimp, and crayfish) are high in dietary cholesterol but low in saturated fat. (more…)
Are saturated fats inherently bad for you? For years, the idea drilled into our heads has been that the saturated fats found in meat, cheese, and butter are to be largely avoided due to the increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, and heart disease. But now we’re not so sure.
A new analysis of research was released in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine this week, and reported by the New York Times health blog here, cast doubt upon this guideline.
The new research reviewed over 80 studies that looked at what the participants reportedly ate, plus blood test results that measured fatty acids and cholesterol levels. This analysis did not find increased heart disease in those who ate less saturated fat, nor did it find less disease in those eating more unsaturated fat—the good stuff found in natural foods like olive oil, fish, and avocados. It did, however, notice a benefit in those taking Omega-3 fish-oil supplements in preventing the onset of heart disease. (more…)
Earlier this year the USDA unveiled the MyPlate icon, replacing the MyPyramid graphic in an effort to simplify dietary recommendations for the American public. Yet despite the early excitement surrounding its unveiling, it appears not many Americans are choosing to implement the MyPlate guidelines.
In fact, most Americans are only meeting the MyPlate guidelines an average of one week out of the year. And this probably isn’t altogether that shocking given that most Americans fail to include vegetables or dairy at most meals. Additionally, the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the recommendations visually depicted by the MyPlate icon, often require more than three meals to be eaten each day in order to be achieved which can also prove difficult for individuals who don’t snack in between meals.
So are the MyPlate guidelines really a diet in disguise that most people can’t stick to for longer than a week? Not exactly. The guidelines behind MyPlate result from years of study and observation of eating behaviors among thousands of Americans. These guidelines outline a lifestyle, not a diet, however without proper guidance they can be just as difficult to stick to.
When implementing the MyPlate guidelines, it’s important to know where to start and to have a little background information on what these guidelines mean. This, of course, requires you to go beyond the plate and develop your own MyPlate-based plan that works over the long-term. And although it’s easy to say this is something you want to do, actually doing it is a lot harder.
Since the announcement of the new 2020 dietary guidelines for Americans, culinary experts and dietitians have been working to help their clients adjust their diets to reflect the new guidelines. One of these suggestions includes eating less sodium.
Registered dietitian Michelle Dudash, RD is working to help Americans do just that. Here are a few tips straight from her kitchen to help cut down your salt intake, which promotes overall heart health and may even help you slim down.
Hold the salt: Instead of adding salt throughout the preparation process, only add it at the end of cooking when it’s needed. This method requires less salt, while still reaching your taste buds upon first bite.
Think fresh: Use good quality, fresh and seasonal ingredients whenever possible, which results in maximum flavor and leaves little need for added salt.
Mary Hartley, RD, MPH, is the director of nutrition for Calorie Count, providing domain expertise on issues related to nutrition, weight loss and health. She creates original content for weekly blogs and newsletters, for the Calorie Count library, and for her popular daily Question-and-Answer section, Ask Mary. Ms. Hartley also furnishes direction for the site features and for product development.
UPDATE 1/31/2020: The 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released this morning. A full rundown on the changes can be found here.
The nutrition community has been expectantly waiting for the 2020 Dietary Guidelines, which at this point, are a month late in their release. The Guidelines contain the authoritative information about the best diet to prevent disease. Since 1980, they have been published every five years by law.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are jointly published by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). They are revised to reflect scientific advances in the knowledge of what constitutes an ideal diet. They are the basis of Federal nutrition education programs, including My Pyramid and the Nutrition Facts labels, and they guide the foods that are offered by School Lunch, WIC and other Federal nutrition programs.
Michael Pollan had his 64 rules for eating healthy and in recent weeks, 13 scientists who were appointed to an advisory committee released their new “food rules”. This early release of “rules” is not yet the final dietary guidelines for Americans, so now is our chance to have some influence by providing our feedback. Final dietary guidelines will become available at the end of 2020, so make sure to give your 2 cents in our comments section and we will work to roll these up and help steer our country to a healthier place.
1. Eat fewer calories. The average person needs to consume roughly 2,000 calories per day. Most don’t know what they should consume for their individual height and weight, let alone how much they are actually eating. To find out what your daily calorie consumption should be, visit: DIR Health Calculator. (more…)
Every five years the USDA and the HHS (US Dept. of Health and Human Services) publishes its Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This explanation is just what it sounds like, a guide to help Americans follow a healthy diet. The information from these guidelines also appears as the Food Pyramid that we’re all familiar with. According to the USDA’s web site, “[The Guidelines] provide authoritative advice for people two years and older about how good dietary habits can promote health and reduce risk for major chronic diseases.”
In the latter part of 2020, the newest guidelines will be published. Prior to that, a lot of work is done to ensure that the most relevant and appropriate information is shared with the public. The Secretaries of each agency (Kathleen Sebelius at HHS and Tom Vilsack at USDA) create a committee comprised of 13 leading scientists to review the newest research in order to draft an advisory report that will then form the backbone of the newest guidelines.
This advisory report was just published, and offers an opportunity for public review before the document is finalized. Everyone from you to food lobbyists will have a chance to review, comment, and ultimately help shape the document. It is speculated that this version will be one of the boldest yet, with the rising obesity epidemic reflecting a great need for public education about nutrition.
“Obesity is the single greatest threat to public health in this century,” said Penelope Slade-Sawyer, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the HHS, upon the release of this advisory report.
As such, the following eight guideline revisions are what appeared in the advisory report and a good example of what we can expect to see in the 2020 version. (more…)
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans is a publication of health oriented recommendations that are written every five years, first debuting in 1980. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Agriculture (USDA) are responsible for producing these guidelines. The objective to these guidelines is to provide “authoritative advice for people two years and older about how good dietary habits can promote health and reduce risk for major chronic diseases.” These guidelines emphasize that eating right and being physically active shouldn’t be viewed as a diet or weight loss program, rather as essential tools to a healthy lifestyle. These guidelines provide broad “key” recommendations and specific ones for certain age groups/populations.
Some of the “key” recommendations/guidelines include:
- Weight Management: “To maintain body weight in a healthy range, balance calories from food and beverages with calories expended.” (more…)