diethealthy lifestyleNutritiondietary guidelines

Every five years, the federal government releases nutritional guidelines based on research and scientific evidence. These guidelines are updated by the US Department Of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department Of Health And Human Sciences (HHS). However, these guidelines are important because they address significant nutrition-related issues facing the U.S population like diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. They also provide the basis for federal nutrition policy and food assistance programs.

Moreover, the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s role is to provide independent, science-based advice and recommendations to be considered by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) as the Departments develop the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. USDA and HHS are committed to ensuring multiple opportunities for public participation before, throughout, and after the Committee’s review of the evidence.

As the DGAC finalizes its scientific report and the USDA and HHS prepare to begin work on the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the Physicians Committee is making the following recommendations:

Limit carbs consumption

Only one in 10 adults eat enough fruits and vegetables, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Trusted source)

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that carbohydrates make up 45 to 65 percent of your total daily calories.

Stop eating processed meat

In 2015, about 22 experts from 10 countries assessed more than 800 epidemiological diseases, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified consumption of processed meat as “‘carcinogenic to humans’ (Group 1) on the basis of sufficient evidence for colorectal cancer.”

Minimize fat intake

The DGAC report has recommended that less than 10% of calories come from saturated fat. They guide to limit the cholesterol intake to the minimum level. However, replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats helps to lower LDL or bad cholesterol. Nevertheless, replacing the saturated fats with carbohydrates is not viable as it increases triglycerides and decreases HDL (good cholesterol)

Promote a plant-based diet

A plant-based diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and is a good way to achieve a good heath. These foods are rich in fiber content, free of cholesterol, and low in calories and saturated fat. It is also important to include a reliable source of vitamin B-12 in your diet. People who consume plants diet face less risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

  • Plant-based diets improve cholesterol and lower blood pressure.
  •  Prevent and eradicate type-II diabetes
  • They are beneficial and healthy for maintaining a healthy weight
  • They alleviate the risk of multiple types of cancers
  • Plant-based diet improves asthma control

Calcium is plentiful in beans, leafy green vegetables, tofu, bread, and cereals. Oranges, bananas, potatoes, and other fruits, vegetables, and beans are rich sources of potassium. Legumes and green leafy vegetables are excellent sources of magnesium. The natural source of vitamin D is sunlight, and fortified cereals, grains, bread, and orange juice dietary options.


dietary guidelinesClick to view more on different nutrition in different life stages: Infancy to adolescence

Recommend water instead of milk

The current guidelines recommend people to avoid saturated fat because of its link to heart diseases.

Scientific evidence also shows that milk and other dairy products increase the risk of asthma, breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers, cognitive decline, and early death, and offer little if any protection for bone health.

Dairy products also lead to bloating, diarrhea, and gas in millions of Americans who have lactose intolerance.

The National Institutes of Health estimates that 30 million to 50 million American adults are lactose intolerant, including 95 percent of Asians Americans, 60-80 percent of African Americans and Ashkenazi Jews, 80-100 percent of Native Americans, and 50-80 percent of Hispanics.

Benefits of water drinking:

  1. Firstly, improves memory
  2. Reduce sugar cravings and aid weight maintenance
  3. Resultantly, increase exercise performance
  4. Also, reduce headaches and migraines
  5. Prevent from constipation
  6. Halt kidney stones

dietary guidelines

Refraining from alcohol

According to the DGAC report, evidence suggests that drinking less is better for health as compared to drinking more. Further, the research found that among folks ages 20 to 64 years of age, alcohol contributes more than 20% of total calories from beverages.

One drink is defined as 12-fluid ounces of beer, 5 fluid ounces of wine, and 1-1/2 fluid ounces of 80-proof liquid.

As such, the committee made the recommendation to lower the guideline for men to a maximum of 1 drink per day.

dietary guidelines

0-24 months

One of the biggest challenges in the dietary guidelines is the new recommendations for children from ages 0-24. The committee recommended that infants should be breastfed for the first 6 months of life as the duration of breastfeeding can influence the reduced risk of several chronic diseases.

Pregnant and lactating women

Based on the scientific evidence it is necessary for pregnant and lactating women to adopt healthy diet patterns before or during pregnancy. This may help to alleviate the risk of gestational diabetes, hypertensive pregnancy disorders, and premature births.