Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released this month by the United States Dept. of Agriculture (USDA), is that they look a lot like the old guidelines. For olive oil fans, that's good news!While the average American might not pay much attention to the guidelines, which are updated every five years, the recommendations are a key resource for health professionals and policy makers. They also have a big influence on school lunch programs, WIC, and SNAP-Ed (formerly known as food stamps). Plus, the guidelines extend the general, urgent push to get Americans to eat healthier.For anyone interested in what we should be putting in our bodies for maximum health, the new dietary guidelines, clocking in at 570 pages, are worth a look. For those prefer a summary (and let's face it, that's most of us) the recommendations boil down to the following:
- Eat a variety of veggies from all sub-groups—dark green, red and orange, legumes, starchy and others.
- Whole fruits are best.
- Choose whole grains over processed grains.
- Eat fat-free or low fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese and/or fortified soy beverages.
- Consume a variety of proteins, including seafood, lean meats, poultry and eggs, legumes, and nuts, seeds, and soy products.
- Incorporate oils, but be sure to limit saturated fats and trans fats.
- Limit sugar to less than 10 percent of daily calories.