Eat Less and Eat Better

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New Federal Dietary Guidelines Released

Every five years the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture update their guidelines for healthy eating. The 2010 dietary guidelines, released at the end of January 2011, offer more of the same advice as past ones: drink water instead of soda, cut back on salt, and eat more fruits and veggies.

Oh, and exercise a lot more. Enjoy your food, but eat less.

About one-third of adult Americans are obese. Obesity can lead to heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and some cancers. “The obesity epidemic carries a really steep cost,” said Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services at a Washington D.C. news conference announcing the new guidelines. “About three-quarters of our health care costs are connected to chronic disease.”

The guidelines have specific suggestions to improve your diet, including:

  • Increase fruit and vegetable intake
  • Eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark-green, red and orange vegetables, beans, and peas
  • Increase intake of fat-free or low-fat dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, or fortified soy beverages
  • Increase the amount and variety of seafood consumed
  • Avoid oversized portions
  • Check the sodium in canned, frozen, and processed foods and choose the foods with the lowest amount

The Department of Agriculture offers a  Super Tracker  with numerous resources  to help get a sense of your diet and how to reach the goals set in the guidelines.

- Pia Hinckle

Comments (4)

  • anon

    Once again, we are told what to eat by the GOVERNMENT. How strange is that, just on principle? They get it wrong, again. More POLYUNSATURATED fats in the diet will continue to increase our rates of obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and all the other ills of a modern diet. Once again, they are forcing the issue on a nation that has been blinded by the food industry instead of relying on our own innate, human skill at deciding what to consume. Look to the work of Weston A Price folks, and you will understand what humans were eating decades ago before big AG, the food industry and our government decided to be the experts. Just ask your great grandparents what they ate: BUTTER< LARD, and meats from PASTURED animals. It ain't that hard to figure out the lies that have been shoved down our throats in the guise of protecting us. WAKE UP people, they have been lying for decades and we have grown fatter, sicker and more unhappy as a result. Our country needs an overhaul with the foods that we eat. MONSANTO and others are the real evil...

    Feb 07, 2011
  • anon
    Kelly (not verified)

    As I was reading Pia's article, I sighed and rolled my eyes; the USDA good pyramid is useless as a guide for what you should eat. The article was just another mouthpiece for the governments's low fat, low salt, eat less mantra. As I was reaching to close the window, I saw a breath of fresh air and fresh thinking in the comment section. I second Leslie's comment! And Amen, too! You Fruit Guys should get educated on real food: read Nina Planck and Michael Pollan, plug into the Weston A Price foundation. As fruit peddlers, I think people look to you for good information about nutrition, not just towing the party line. Get informed, and be willing to boldly say that the Emperor "isn't wearing anything at all!" This whole obesity epidemic isn't about people with no willpower; it's about people who have been given the wrong information by the government (eat low fat), about farm subsidies for trash food (corn and soybeans) and giant food companies making food-like substances full of addictive chemicals that make us want more. Honestly. Will you please focus on the quality, not just quantity of information you share? Be well.

    Feb 07, 2011
  • anon


    Feb 07, 2011
  • anon
    Kelly (not verified)

    Belated thanks for the link to the junk food article, Pia. I like it!

    Apr 26, 2011


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