New Dietary Guidelines for Americans

January 11, 2011 10:40:37 AM PST
The new Dietary Guidelines offer all Americans a new perspective on nutrition. In ways we've never seen before, they provide specific tips on how to reduce the dangers of obesity, improve overall health and make wiser food choices.

They talk about things like reducing obesity (especially in kids); lowering intake of saturated fat, and encourage people to do more cooking at home!

Specifically, the report says "On average, Americans of all ages consume too few vegetables, fruits, high-fiber whole grains..."

It recommends Americans, "...increase intakes of shortfall nutrients and nutrients of concern: vitamin D, calcium, potassium, and dietary fiber."

    Distinct Differences in New Guidelines from Previous Recommendations:
  • The new Guidelines clearly acknowledge that the majority of Americans over consume calories and are overweight or obese
  • At the same time many Americans are undernourished in several key nutrients
  • The emphasis is on reducing weight among Americans - especially children
  • Also increase awareness of dietary components consumed in excess while others are lacking
  • Provides clear strategies for everyone to start and maintain positive changes

    Foods and Nutrients of Concern -- These are Over Consumed:
  • Solid fats like butter, cheese, ice cream, fatty and marbled meats
  • Saturated fat, specifically, is called out due to health concerns
  • Immediate goal: reduce to less than 10 percent calories
  • Longer goal: less than 7 percent daily calories
  • Show foods to improve current intake

    Foods and Nutrients of Concern -- These are Under Consumed:
  • Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dairy products are generally under consumed by both adults AND children
  • 75-95 percent of Americans of ALL ages do not eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables
  • The "shortfall" - or nutrients of concern - include vitamins A, C, K, Mg, potassium, foliate and dietary fiber
  • The "shortfall" - or nutrients of substantial concern - include vitamin D, calcium, potassium and dietary fiber
  • Foliate is especially important to women of childbearing years to protect against birth defects; and it promotes heart health
  • Vitamin C helps the absorption of iron
  • Baskets of foods to show viewers sources of biggest concern

    Get Cooking!
  • The Guidelines suggest we "improve nutrition literacy" - improve cooking and good food handling skills
  • Urge people - especially families with children - to prepare healthy meals at home
  • Start simple: use back of the box and magazine recipes
  • Use more herbs and spices to replace salt
  • READ FOOD LABELS to check for fat, sugar and sodium

    Meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans:
  • The DG Committee recommends these as a model for more activity
  • They state that the prevalence of overweight and obesity is due to the overconsumption of total calories; very low physical activity, and too much sedentary time
  • Start today: walk, dance, clean closets...anything!
  • Make it fun: music, videos, classes, Wii etc.