New Federal Dietary Guidelines: 5 Ways They've Changed

Jeanne Sager

Food pyramidThe new dietary guidelines from the federal government are up for public comment, something the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) have done every five years since 1980.

Basically a how-to for Americans looking to eat right and maintain health, they're based on nearly 2,000 scientific studies into the American lifestyle, best practices, and health.

But considering they do this every five years, how much could be different from the 2005 Dietary Guidelines?

A fair amount, it turns out.

The Stir took a look at the Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, available online, and pulled out a few of the big changes:

1. Sodium consumption. The current guidelines suggest we consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day, but the report has sliced that to less than 1,500.

2. Saturated fats. Americans are currently advised to limit their fat intake to less than 10 percent of their total intake. In 2010, the guideline is less than 7 percent.

3. Artificial trans fats. Get them off your plate, America! But naturally occurring trans-fatty acids are still OK in limited doses.

4. Increase your veggies. A specific shift to a plant-based diet is high on the agenda for shaping up America.

5. Seafood. The committee encourages consumption of 8 ounces of seafood per week, providing an average of 250 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids per day.

Want to weigh in? The federal government wants to hear from you. Comments are being accepted online through July 15.


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