Exciting news, the 2015 – 2020 updated Dietary Guidelines were just released. These Guidelines are updated by a team of nutrition and medical experts from across the country focusing on scientific and medical evidence in the nutrition field. This exclusive group of committee members included experts from Harvard, Yale, Duke, Tufts University, and our own The Ohio State University.
The results of their work are found in five basic guidelines:
Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan. To reduce your risk of chronic disease, choose foods and beverages at an appropriate level to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
Focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount. Plan to include a variety of vegetables especially dark green, red, orange, and legumes (beans and peas). Eat fruits, fat-free or low-fat dairy and whole grains. Consume a variety of protein foods like seafood, lean meats, eggs, nuts, soy products, and legumes.
Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake. Look to foods and beverages in their simple state and avoid those with added sugars, fats, and sodium.
Shift to healthier food and beverages choices. Choose nutrient-dense foods and reduce less healthy choices. Examples might include colorful vegetables and fruits, whole grain pasta or rice, low fat milk or yogurt, and a variety of proteins including beans, eggs, poultry, fish, and other low-fat choices.
Support healthy eating patterns for all. We each have a role in creating and supporting healthy eating – from home to school to work to community.
This eighth version of the Dietary Guidelines has less major changes than past versions, with the apparent changes being an increased focus on less sodium, fat and sugar (especially those that are added to foods or drinks); and less emphasis on cholesterol content of foods. Recommendations include:
· Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from added sugar.
· Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from saturated fats.
· Consumer less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day of sodium.
By following a healthy eating pattern with a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, proteins, seeds or nuts, and low-fat dairy we will all have less risk of chronic disease like cancer, heart disease, or diabetes. This version of the guidelines also includes a wonderful reminder that we all have a role in making healthy eating a priority.
What change can you make to shift your diet to a healthier pattern? Small changes to improve, as well as poor choices both add up. For further information go to http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/. (Author: Barlage, L. Ross County Extension Educator Family and Consumer, Ohio State University Extension)
Pat Brinkman is the Ohio State University Extension Educator for Family & Consumer Sciences.