USDA Issued new guidelines that restrict salt, sugar and saturated fats

Posted by on Jun 16, 2010 | 1 Comment

New dietary guidelines of USDA restrict salt, sugar and saturated fats, frankly acknowledging the lack of progress. These guidelines issued every five years.

New guidelines are issued by the Department of Agriculture on 15th June, 2010 to improve the nation’s diet. However, the main recommendations are steps that Americans have so far largely avoided, cutting back on salt, sugar and saturated fats, and eating more fruits and vegetables. The preliminary version of the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans is not actually much dissimilar from recommendations that issued 30 years ago. Addition of new guidelines in urgency is mainly due to the growing mountain of evidence relating an overweight, sedentary lifestyle to disease and high medical costs. The dietary panel’s recommendations are in contour with First Lady Michelle Obama’s focus on childhood obesity.

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is composed of 13 nutrition experts. This Committee is charged with coming up recommendations that will form in the government’s intended update of the iconic food pyramid. People should consume more vegetables and whole grains, and less fatty meats, salt and sugar according to its findings. The main aim of this report is to engage in what is widely seen as a national epidemic of obesity.

Americans should consume no more than 1,500 milligrams a day of salt according to previous recommendation. But, current guidelines recommend a maximum of 2,300 mg, equivalent to one teaspoon of salt, for the general population, and 1,500 milligrams for at-risk adults, for example people having high blood pressure. The board recommended 1,500 mg for everyone. It was also said by report that children should be discouraged from drinking sugar-sweetened beverages, and get more physical exercise and people usually should limit saturated fats to less than 7% of overall calorie intake.

When the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services develop new national dietary guidelines to be released this year, the panel’s recommendations are to be considered. In order, the guidelines will figure the basis of the USDA’s updated food pyramid, and listed to be released in spring 2011. The nutrition standards are also determined by them for all federal nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program, which feeds more than 30 million children a day.

How People Eat:

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee needs Americans to change their eating habits. Among the suggestions:

  • Limit intake of saturated fat to less than 7% of total calories. Current guidelines set the maximum at 10%.
  • Daily vitamins don’t benefit ‘healthy Americans’ but can help people with known deficiencies of things such as iron or calcium.
  • Daily salt consumption shouldn’t exceed 1,500 mg a day. The current guideline is 2,300 mg a day, or 1,500 mg for at-risk people.
  • The health benefits of cooked seafood outweigh the risks from mercury and other contaminants.
  • People should shift their diets to be ‘more plant-based’ and consume ‘only moderate amounts of lean meats, poultry and eggs.

Margo Wootan, nutrition policy director of the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest said, “The basic advice is the same. The new twist is that they’re recognizing the fact that it’s very hard for people to follow that advice”. The USDA Guidelines Advisory Committee said the new dietary recommendations frankly acknowledging the lack of progress, issued every five years, with the aim “an American public of whom the majority are overweight or obese and yet undernourished in several key nutrients.”

According to the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity, about one in three children ages 2 to 19 are overweight or obese. Few Americans may be familiar with details of the guidelines beyond the government’s widely publicized food pyramid but the document manipulates decisions in school breakfast and lunch programs, Meals on Wheels, food labeling and in discussions on regulatory issues such as food marketing to children.

1 comment

  1. ed manes says:

    The USDA is referring to 1,500 mg of sodium–NOT SALT. There is a difference. Andrew Zajac of the LA Times started the problem on June 16th when he reported the figure as being for salt. Now the incorrect amount is on the internet and you are using it too.

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