The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have posted their new dietary guidelines in the Scientific Report of 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.
Here is a list of 10 suggestions, findings and recommendations:
Cholesterol was removed from the list of nutrients of concern for over-consumption. The DGAC dismissed its previous recommendation of no more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol per day.
The DGAC reported only sodium and saturated fat as nutrients of concern for over-consumption, stating that the U.S. population exceeds the recommendations for both.
Vitamin D, calcium, potassium and fiber are under-consumed and may pose a public health concern.
The general public is given the go-ahead to continue drinking caffeine but children, adolescents and pregnant women are discouraged from high doses.
5) Food Group
The USDA food patterns have changed over time. They are currently made up of five major food groups:
(4) protein foods and
Also included are their sub-groups: dark green vegetables, orange and red vegetables, starchy vegetables, other vegetables, beans and peas, whole grains, enriched/refined grains, meat/poultry/eggs, nuts, seeds, soy products and seafood.
6) Food Patterns
A new Healthy Vegetarian Pattern and a Healthy Mediterranean-style Pattern were developed. The patterns are full of nutrient-dense foods and fall below the limits for sodium and saturated fat.
7) Fruits vs. Vegetables
The majority of children aged 8 years old and younger eat enough fruit to meet the DGAC’s recommendation while everyone over the age of 8 struggles to get enough.
Very few children ever meet the daily recommendation for vegetables. And, although there is a slight increase in consumption among adults, the U.S. population never quite gets enough veggies.
8) Whole Grains
Keep buying those whole grains. Although it has been reported that half of all daily grain consumption should be of the whole-grain variety, nearly 100 percent of the population is below that recommendation in consumption.
Dairy consumption decreases with age. More than 60 percent of children aged 1-3 years of age get enough dairy, but less than 5 percent of adult women meet the recommended amount of three cups per day.
In 2010, the DGAC recommended upping weekly seafood intake to 8 ounces. This year, that recommendation was upheld for adults.
Despite the decreased concern for cholesterol consumption The American Heart Association’s website “still recommends all adults age 20 or older have their cholesterol, and other traditional risk factors, checked every four to six years.”
In a recent blog post, Dr. Neal Barnard attempted to clear up the confusion about cholesterol by explaining its relationship with saturated fat.
“The two travel together. Fat and cholesterol are the Bonnie and Clyde of the culinary world. An egg, for example, has a whopping 200 milligrams of cholesterol and gets nearly 20 percent of its calories from saturated fat. They conspire together to raise your cholesterol level,” wrote Barnard.
Barnard recommends a plant-based diet low in “bad fat” and cholesterol, despite the new USDA report.
New guidelines come out every five years and are meant to keep the government informed on the health needs of the county.
2015 Scientific Report. Health.gov. Accessed February 20, 2015.
What your Cholesterol Levels Mean. Heart.org. Accessed February 24, 2015
Cholesterol Confusion: Let’s Make Sense of It. Pcrm.org. Accessed February 24, 2015
Reviewed March 2, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith