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US Dietary Guidelines Say More Plant-Based Food, Less Sugar

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The much anticipated new governmental dietary guidelines have arrived, with some 572 pages of suggestions, initiatives, and health recommendations.

Most notably, perhaps, these guidelines – which are set forth every five years by the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services – have for the first time ever included a message about sustainability.

The committee has found a diet “higher in plant-based foods…and lower in calories and animal-based foods is more health promoting and is associated with less environmental impact than is the current US diet.” The American diet right now has a high impact on land, water, and energy use, as well as greenhouse emissions.

What’s more, vegetables were lauded as an “excellent sources of many shortfall nutrients and nutrients of public health concern.” Americans also eat too few whole grains while consuming too much sodium and saturated fat.

They also encourage a reduction in sugars, which contribute to high blood pressure, obesity, and potentially cardiovascular disease.

Cholesterol, meanwhile, is not a nutrient of concern according to the committee. To reduce saturated fat, the recommendation is to “primarily choose low and non-fat dairy products and lean meat.”

Elsewhere, the guidelines say that alcohol and caffeine are fine in moderation. However, it is not recommending to simply start consuming alcohol, and energy drinks full of caffeine are found to be harmful to children and pregnant women.

The recommendations are not yet finalized. They will undergo a review before being approved later this year.

You can check out the guidelines and more information on the government health website.

Via Time

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  • As discussed here, research shows, when enjoyed in moderation, coffee may
    have beneficial effects. Moreover, caffeine is a safe ingredient, as scientists
    confirm and as centuries of safe consumption in food and beverages verifies.

    We would add, however, that this Committee’s recommendations did not
    scientifically define “high” caffeine intake and inappropriately, narrowly and arbitrarily focused on a single category of products, energy drinks – which often have considerably less caffeine than similarly sized containers of coffee. Furthermore, the conclusions regarding energy drink safety were based upon what the Committee itself characterized as “limited” evidence, which falls well
    below the required evidentiary standard for the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. And, last but not least, it’s important to remember that sugar, and sugar-sweetened beverages, can be enjoyed as a part of sensible diet. It’s overall moderation across the diet and physical activity that is key.
    -American Beverage Association

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