The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, made up of medical and nutritional experts which meets every five years, has recommended a diet high in vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fish & low-fat dairy. Does this sound familiar? Mediterranean Diet come to mind? The committee has stated that these guidelines are “more health promoting and is associated with less environmental impact” than the current US diet, which is high in meat.
They have also stated in their report that “no food groups need to be eliminated completely to improve sustainability outcomes”. So they are not recommending you become a vegetarian. This report is the same one that has changed the guidelines for cholesterol (look at my previous blog on this subject) and caffeine. Don’t panic, they recommend 3-5 cups of coffee a day as being part of a healthy diet and 2 cups if you are pregnant. I can live with that.
Limiting our sugar intake takes center stage in the report. They recommend that no more than 10% of the calories in our food and drink be sugar. The World Health Organization recommends 5% or less. “Taxation on higher sugar-and sodium-containing foods may encourage consumers to reduce consumption and revenues generated could support health promotion efforts,” the report stated. Also recommending that water be the beverage of choice for children and teens. Wow!
Here is a link to the official report: 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report. Remember that this is a recommendation only. The government will make the final decision. The Health & Human Services along with the USDA will release the official Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015, later this year.
I am impressed that they are actually making a recommendation based on the environmental impact of a diet. This should have been recommended years and years ago based solely on the health impact on our population! These recommended guidelines will affect everything from reading labels to school lunches.
I read an article by Chris Taylor, U.S. food panel: Go nuts on coffee, kill your sugar intake. He begins the article with “In a country with an estimated 108 million dieters attempting to kickstart their diet four or five times a year, there’s no shortage of advice on what to eat and drink.” How very true these words are! He continues, stating, “What is lacking: a single, simple national standard based on the latest science — one that relegates old, unscientific assumptions about dietary fat and cholesterol to the scrap heap of history.”
Let’s hope that this report will do what Chris Taylor has stated. The recommendations by this panel are based on current science not fads. If the government uses all the recommendations then I think we will see some loud opposition from the food industry. The Beef Industry is already making their protestations heard. No surprise there…just ask Oprah Winfrey 🙂
Coinciding with the release of this report was another study regarding food coloring in those sugary soft drinks! Read this article by the John Hopkins, Bloomberg School of Public Health: Popular Soda Ingredient Poses Cancer Risk to Consumers “–Research analysis suggests that soda drinkers consume 1 or more cans per day—possibly exposing them to 4-methylimidazole, a potential carcinogen“.
Now, the next step by the FDA should be labeling GMO foods…..another blog for another time.