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