Dietary guidelines are designed to suggest foods and food patterns that provide all the nutrients and bioactive compounds our bodies need, while avoiding those we don’t need (like too much sodium, starch, added sugars, and unwanted additives).
MyPlate, based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, recommends filling half our plates with fruits and vegetables, about a quarter with grains, and about a quarter with lean protein. “When following MyPlate, the Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter recommends meeting the grain component with minimally processed whole grains, and eating plenty of nuts, seeds, fish, and poultry to maximize healthy fats, proteins, and other nutrients,” says Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH, dean of the Friedman School and editor-in-chief of Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter.
In the ‘news to me’ department, I just ran across this on the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health website and thought I would pass it along in case you also missed it.
We got new dietary guidelines from the government back in January with needed updates on sugar intake and total fat. However, the USDA and HHS didn’t act on all the recommendations of the advisory committee of experts that they appointed.
On the positive side, they recommended: • A variety of vegetables from all of the subgroups—dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy, and other • Fruits, especially whole fruits • Grains, at least half of which are whole grains • Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages • A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), and nuts, seeds, and soy products • Oils
However, on the negative side, “Clearly these Guidelines bear the hoof prints of the Cattleman’s Association and the sticky fingerprints of Big Soda. They fail to represent the best available scientific evidence and are a disservice to the American public,” according to the School of Public Health at Harvard. Continue reading →
The U.S. government’s new Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limits on added sugars, sodium, and saturated fats; drop a previous limit on total fats, emphasizing healthy fats instead; and urge overall healthy eating patterns rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. But the new guidelines also have some troubling omissions, according to nutrition experts from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health who were quoted in various media outlets after the new guidelines were released on January 7, 2016.
The experts also weighed in with an overview and critique of the new guidelines in an article on Harvard Chan School’s Nutrition Source.
Walter Willett, chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard Chan School, told NBC News that he was disappointed that the new guidelines strayed from some key recommendations made last year by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), such as advice to cut back on red meat and sugary beverages. Continue reading →