Adopt healthy eating patterns and exercise more.
That's the new U.S. Dietary Guidelines in a nutshell. But with all of the competing food choices out there, it is easier said than done. This year's revisions, based on current nutrition science, focus on using healthy eating patterns as a tool for attaining and maintaining nutritional goals.
In a nutshell, the guidelines say:
- Do a better job eating nutrient-dense vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat and fat-free dairy foods, and lean protein foods;
- Greatly limit added sugar, sodium, and saturated fats.
The guidelines advocate getting most of your nutrient needs met through smarter food choices. A few specific nutrients are worth highlighting.
Sugar has been a contentious subject for the industry, including whether to include added sugars on the nutrition facts label. And new this year, the guidelines offer a quantitative recommendation: Added sugar intake should be less than 10 percent of total calories per day.
Consume less than 10 percent of your calories per day from saturated fats.
For most adults (14 years and older), sodium intake should be less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day.
While the new guidelines continue to suggest a low intake of dietary cholesterol, the 300 mg daily limit has been removed. According to the guidelines, "Adequate evidence is not available for a quantitative limit for dietary cholesterol... "
The guidelines provide healthy eating patterns to use as a tool for making smarter food choices, which are based on the MyPlate food groups. The Food Processor Food Analysis software offers dietary assessment using the MyPlate food groups and uses the Healthy US Style Eating Patterns described in the new guidelines.
The U.S. Dietary Guidelines are revised every five years and have been designed to promote overall health and help prevent chronic disease.
This chart lists the new guidelines in full.
For more information, visit The Dietary Guidelines website.