TOP FIVE CHANGES TO THE U.S. DIETARY GUIDELINES 2015
The new U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2015-2020) were made public in January 2016. While some recommendations remained similar to previous years, others were altered, added or made more precise. Here are five top changes that may be useful when thinking about maintaining or adopting a well-rounded eating plan:
- Sugar limits: For the first time, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is recommending we limit the added sugars in our diets to 10 percent of total calories. Be sure to note this recommendation is for added sugar, not naturally occurring sugars found in foods such as fresh fruit. To put this into perspective, the average American adult eats about 2,000 calories per day. Limiting added sugar to 10 percent of 2,000 calories means you can consume 50 grams of added sugar and still remain within the guidelines (12 ounces of grape juice or one 16 ounce-sized bottle of SoBe Green Tea equals 50 grams).
- Produce: The guidelines encourage us to consume nine servings of fruits, vegetables and legumes each day. Of those nine servings, five should be vegetables. In general, half a cup equals one serving of fruit or veggies. One cup of salad equals one serving. For optimal nutrient density, choose a rainbow of colorful produce to eat.
- No limits on dietary cholesterol: This is a marked shift, considering the decades-long recommendations to limit cholesterol to 300 mg per day. While scientific studies have indicated that dietary cholesterol found in foods has little impact on blood cholesterol, individuals with a family history of high cholesterol may need to continue limiting their intake.
- Coffee and tea: Sugary soda pop was called out as an item to limit, but coffee and tea were both encouraged based on new research. The report indicates that caffeine is generally safe for most people (up to 400 mg per day). However, some individuals are caffeine-sensitive — if you fall into this group, be sure to adjust your intake to match your sensitivity. Coffee and tea (black and green) contain beneficial antioxidants and may help decrease risk for chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
- Eat more mono- and polyunsaturated fats: These heart-healthy fats are encouraged, but the government did not distinguish between omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fats, and did not define a recommended amount per day. Some tasty and healthy suggestions to include daily are:
- Nuts and seeds for heart-healthy monounsaturated fats
- Foods high in omega-3 fats such as walnuts, salmon or chia seeds
For more information including all the new details, please check out the guidelines.
NOT FEMALE PROBLEMS: FIVE CONDITIONS ALSO AFFECTING MEN
There are lots of health issues that only affect women. However, there are a handful considered “female problems” that also affect men. Because they are not thought of as impacting men sometimes they cause serious health complications. Here are five conditions men also need to keep in mind, and see a doctor if they develop symptoms.
Learn more here.
DEALING WITH THE TODDLER APPETITE SLUMP
Meal times can be difficult when you have a child who seemingly won’t eat anything. It happens more commonly than you may think, due to the fact that as kids transition from being infants to toddlers their calorie needs change. There are ways to encourage their appetite though, without going to extremes — or making yourself crazy.
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For more expert health news and information, visit healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed.