New Dietary Guidelines

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have released the newest edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010.

The new guidelines emphasize the importance of consuming a nutrient-dense diet, maintaining appropriate calorie balance and exercising regularly. These guidelines are designed to help promote health, prevent chronic diseases and reduce the risk of becoming overweight or obese. Below are some of the highlights.

Balancing calories for weight control: According to the report, many Americans consume more calories than their bodies burn throughout the day, which leads to weight gain. People can manage their body weight by controlling the amount of calories they consume and regularly engaging in physical activities. The amount of calories a person needs depends on age, gender, height, weight and physical activity.

Food and beverages to increase: The report suggests that many Americans do not consume enough potassium, dietary fiber, calcium and vitamin D. The new guidelines recommend that people increase the amount and variety of fruits, vegetables and seafood in their diets. People are also encouraged to consume more whole grains and low-fat dairy products. Many different kinds of proteins are also recommended, including seafood, lean meat, poultry, eggs, legumes, soy products and unsalted nuts and seeds. When possible, oils should be used in place of solid fats.

Food and beverages to reduce: The new guidelines recommend that people consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily. Some people (including children; individuals over 50 years old; African Americans and those with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease) should consume less than 1,500 milligrams daily. Fewer than 10 percent of calories should come from saturated fats, and intake of trans-fatty acids should be limited as much as possible. Less than 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol should be consumed daily. Individuals are also encouraged to limit refined grains and alcohol consumption.

A new food pyramid will be released in the next few months.

For more information about healthy foods and diets, please visit Natural Standard’s Health & Wellness and Get Healthy on our Hot Topic page – General Health.


1.      Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine.

2.      U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 View Report


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