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2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Released!
The US Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) released on January 7, 2016 the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). This is the 8th edition since the first one was published in 1980. The DGA provides nutritional and dietary information as well as guidelines for the general public and is updated every five years conjointly by the USDA and HHS. It is based on current scientific and medical knowledge. According to the USDA’s website, the guidelines are “designed for nutrition and health professionals to help all individuals ages 2 years and older and their families consume a healthy, nutritionally adequate diet. The information in the Dietary Guidelines is used by policymakers in developing Federal food, nutrition, and health policies and programs. It also is the basis for Federal nutrition education materials designed for the public and for the nutrition education components of HHS and USDA food programs.”
The following are noticeable changes from the 2010 DGAs:
· There is no longer a limit on dietary cholesterol.
o 2010 DGAs recommended < 300 mg cholesterol per day.
· Adults and children ages 14 years and over should limit sodium to less than 2,300 mg per day, and children younger than 14 years should consume even less.
o 2010 DGAs recommended reducing daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg and further reducing intake to 1,500 mg among persons who are 51 and older and those of any age who are African American or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.
· Less than 10% of daily calories should come from added sugar intake.
o 2010 DGAs only recommended to reduce the intake of added sugar and did not provide a percentage value.
o This amounts to about 12 teaspoons a day for a person on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet (1 teaspoon equals 4 grams of sugar). On average, consumers have an intake of about 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day (more than one-third from soft drinks).
· Coffee. A moderate amount (3 to 5 cups a day, up to 400 milligrams of caffeine) can be part of a healthy diet because it is not associated with any long-term health problems and may actually reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other conditions (just watch the cream and sugar). Higher amounts of caffeine could be problematic, however, and children and teens are advised to limit or avoid high-caffeine products.
· Rather than endorsing a maximum for total fats (currently set at up to 35 percent of total calories for adults), the recommendations now call for limiting only saturated fats (to 10 percent of total calories), with no cap on healthy unsaturated fats, as found in vegetable oils and nuts.
· Healthy eating patterns and their food and nutrient characteristics based on their interactive and potentially cumulative effects on health.
o 2010 DGAs focused primarily on individual dietary components.
And there are even more exciting things to come. By 2020, evidence-based food and beverage guidance will be included for infants and toddlers — birth to 24 months — and women who are pregnant. The current guidelines are only for those Americans age 2 and older.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition. December 2015. Available at http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/.