What is Changing in the Healthy Diet Guidelines?

Every five years, the USDA updates the guidelines for healthy diets that Americans should be eating. The guidelines are based on our current understanding of nutritional science. It’s interesting to see how things shift over time. The guidelines will be changing in 2021, and the first draft of the new guide has been released. The final draft will be released in December, but it’s worth learning about now. The biggest may be what is considered healthy as far as sugar consumption.

Under the current guidelines, we have been told that it’s okay to have as much as 10 percent of your daily calories from added sugar. But, the new guidelines say it might actually be safer to have no more than six percent of your calories come from added sugar. That doesn’t mean from sources like fruit, or other naturally occurring sweet foods, but things like sodas or baked goods.   

The new rules also suggest eating more eggs throughout our lives, including for toddlers. They said that as eggs are good for brain development, eating them at a young age could be beneficial. And, as eggs are rich in protein, they can help develop muscle. The new guidelines appear to largely dismiss concerns about cholesterol as the science has repeatedly shown that eggs are good for heart health.

There is a lot to be hashed out, many times, industries get involved. For instance, the seafood industry is wading in. They want more clarification about how much seafood pregnant women and children should eat to reap the food’s developmental health benefits. We don’t know about you, but we don’t like politics in our food.

We agree that seafood is excellent, and that research shows most Americans could eat more of it to gain it’s health benefits. But, we don’t think big business should impact what scientists are advising us on!

In the end, we always come back to the same advice that our mothers fell back on: all things in moderation. We appreciate a balanced diet, rich in vegetables, fruit, protein and some grains. We also use the old rule of having a lot of color on our plate and avoiding too many sweet things. We’re excited to see the new guidelines once they are done and are interested in the information about eggs. But, as is usually the case, we’re taking all of this with a pinch of salt. As always, we suggest speaking to your doctor before making any significant changes to your diet or lifestyle. A doctor who knows your medical history can advise you when making the best choices for you!
August 19, 2020
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