(RxWiki News) The guidelines meant to keep US diets healthy just got a makeover.
That makeover includes changes reflecting recent research on how to eat to avoid obesity and chronic disease.
“Protecting the health of the American public includes empowering them with the tools they need to make healthy choices in their daily lives,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia M. Burwell in a press release. “By focusing on small shifts in what we eat and drink, eating healthy becomes more manageable. The Dietary Guidelines provide science-based recommendations on food and nutrition so people can make decisions that may help keep their weight under control, and prevent chronic conditions, like type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.”
Among the main recommendations in the updated guidelines is a call for Americans to consume less than 10 percent of their daily calories from added sugar, less than 10 percent from saturated fats and less than 2,300 milligrams per day of sodium. The new sodium recommendation represents a departure from stricter recommendations on sodium intake.
The guidelines still contain the old faithful diet recommendations, including an emphasis on a variety of nutrient-dense vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
Officials also took the opportunity to make some calls on foods and drinks that have sparked controversy in the world of nutrition — most notably coffee and eggs.
While research on coffee's health effects is sometimes conflicting, the new guidelines state that moderate consumption (3 to 5 cups per day) can be part of a healthy diet. Also, the update moved eggs (which are high in "good" cholesterol) out of the danger zone — the authors left the decades-old warning to avoid dietary cholesterol behind.
The eighth edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 - 2020 was published online Jan. 7. The authors disclosed no funding sources or conflicts of interest.