There's a new dietary guideline issued by its advisory committee. What does it say?
First, it states many things that people have known for many years. For example, a diet that is plant based is the most ideal. This means that there should be more fruits and vegetables, legumes, and beans. Although it doesn't restrict consumption of red and processed meat, it seriously suggests limiting their intake. In fact, if possible, a person should eat their lean versions instead.
Second, Americans are eating too much sugar and sodium (including salt). Sugar is one of the primary reasons for the increase of obesity and type 2 diabetes cases in the country. Meanwhile, sodium is incredibly important in the body to maintain electrolyte imbalance. However, too much of it can also increase blood pressure that can lead to hypertension and kidney disease or failure.
Under the recently released dietary guidelines, sodium should be no more than 2,300 milligrams per day. The figure should be much smaller if the person is already diagnosed with hypertension or kidney disease.
It's perfectly okay to drink alcohol, but it should be in moderation. Carbonated or sweetened beverages should be replaced by something healthier, most notably water.
As was reported many weeks ago, dietary cholesterol is getting some favor under the new guidelines. For instance, it's already okay to eat shrimp and eggs. Before, these types of food should be eaten sparingly because of the amount of cholesterol they contain. According to the advisory committee, their effects are only felt by a minority.
When it comes to coffee, a person can drink it, provided he or she doesn't go more than 5 cups per day.
The committee also suggests taxing sweetened beverages as a way of discouraging people from consuming them. It also advocates controlling the portion of food eaten.
The last guideline was issued 5 years ago. Like the previous reports, the new one won't be a policy unless it's adopted by the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services.