Tuesday, February 1, 2011

USDA's Releases New Guidelines

Yesterday, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the new "Dietary Guidelines for Americans: 2010."  The guidelines come at an important time--when one of every three Americans is overweight or obese.  The main focus of the guidelines is to describe the need to balance calories, in terms of food and exercise, to manage weight appropriately and keep your health in check.

Some of the new food guidelines include:
1) Limit salt for healthy people to 2,300 milligrams.  For those with hypertension, diabetes, or kidney disease, or those over the age of 51, or African Americans of any age, salt should be restricted to 1,500 milligrams per day.
2) Alcohol should only be consumed in moderation, meaning: 1 drink a day for women, 2 drinks a day for men.
3) Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables.  Avoid over-sized portions of all foods.
4) Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
5) Less than 10% of your daily fats should be saturated and eat more polyunsaturated and monounsaturated (think nuts, olive oil, etc).

These guidelines are not extremely surprising, but important to take note of nonetheless.  Americans need to limit their daily intake of salt, sugar, bad fats, and alcohol.  Additionally, watch your portions.   Some of the messages for consumers can be found here.

The USDA will also be releasing a new food pyramid within the next month or two, so be on the lookout!

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