By: Michael Beiter
The U.S. Department of Agriculture along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services publish a new set of Dietary Guidelines for Americans every 5 years.
The newest edition just released.
Not much has changed despite the advocacy of several committees to reduce the suggested sugar and alcohol intakes by halving the recommendations. They proposed, based on the latest scientific research that the daily allotment for sugar drop from 13% to 6% of their total intake daily. The suggested sugar drop was in addition to a proposed drop to the amount of alcoholic drinks acceptable for men daily from 2 to 1. Women are already encouraged to consume no more than a single alcoholic drink daily.
In totality there were no changes to the guidelines compared to the previous edition. There were additions made to toddler and pregnant and or breastfeeding women.
The suggestions feel distinctly old school. They advise limited intakes of what we know to be damaging like sugar, alcohol, and saturated fat while advocating we get most of our nutrients from minimally processed, whole foods.
The Guidelines as a whole would do well for anyone who adhered to them. Unfortunately the standard American's diet has only gotten worse over the decades while being accompanied by greater levels of sedentary behavior.
The rates of disease linked to these issues has skyrocketed.
Reviewing the Guidelines is great supportive material for what we practice at Pillar. You won't find any nonsense on timing of food, supplementation or over restrictions. Instead this is all good advice evidenced by nutritional science. First and foremost, they respect the need to eat a proper amount of calories for your body and activity and to get those calories from fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, whole grains, and all the other whole foods we've known to be good for us since we were kids.
Not much has changed. Some take that to be disturbing while others find it liberating. I think it's reassuring that we aren't learning new, must do nutrition and lifestyle information as the state of the science grows. It means we have known what is good and needed for a long time and we can work on practicing those time tested strategies rather than recreating the wheel every five years.
You can download a copy of the updated Guidelines through this link: