April 2015 Issue

New Dietary Guidelines for Health Coming Soon

Every five years, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, our nation’s nutrition experts, gather together to review the evidence gathered over the preceding five years and put forth new recommendations for optimal eating, known as the Dietary Guidelines. And 2015 is the year for a new diet strategy to help get our nation on track. Recently released excerpts from the DGAC show a glimpse of where we stand—and where we need to be. Americans are not eating enough fruit, whole grains, and vegetables. And we’re eating too much added sugars, refined grains, sodium, saturated fat, and calories. Obesity and its many risk factors are still a concern—65 percent of adult females, 70 percent of adult males, and nearly one in three children (2-19 years) are overweight or obese.

So what’s the best odds strategy for an obesity- and disease-fighting diet? The DGAC suggests a healthy eating pattern that follows along the lines of a healthy U.S.-style pattern, Mediterranean diet, or vegetarian diet. All three diets have common characteristics: High in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, seafood, legumes, and nuts; moderate in alcohol, lower in red and processed meats; low in added sugars, refined grains, saturated fat, and sodium; and balanced in calories to maintain a healthy weight. This eating style also is associated with more favorable environmental outcomes—a factor considered for the first time by the DGAC.

There you have it—a commonsense approach to eating that excludes “fad” diets and hyperbole. Now that’s something EN can stand behind!