By Shorus E. Manning, RD, LD, SNAP-Education Dietitian, DHEC Professional and Community Nutrition Services
Dietary Guidelines are released every five years by the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Health and Human Services. These recommendations influence various federal nutrition programs and the day-to-day lives of Americans. The vast majority of the recent report is similar to previous guidelines, but there are some key differences.
What You Need to Know
- Cholesterol – The new guidelines no longer include a limit of 300 mg a day. Instead, just focus consuming as little as possible. Remember that we don’t need cholesterol from outside sources, since we make our own.
- Overall Healthy Eating Pattern – Instead of focusing a great deal on individual components, the new guidelines emphasize an overall healthy eating pattern. So don’t look for specific foods to reduce your risk of chronic illnesses. Consider your whole diet. Your overall diet has the greatest potential to make you healthy instead of specific foods.
- Sugar – This is one of the biggest changes in the new guidelines. We need to limit our added sugar to just 10 percent of our calories. On a 2,000-calorie diet, that is about 50 grams of added sugar per day.
- Protein – The lean protein recommendations stay the same. However, there is an emphasis on incorporating 8 oz. of seafood into your weekly protein consumption. A single serving of fish is 3 oz., which is about the size of your checkbook. When it comes to eating too much protein, there was a specific focus on over consumption of protein by men and boys. The average amount should be between 5 to 6 oz. per day. A lower intake of processed meat like bacon, sausage and sandwich meats are encouraged, but this is a part of the whole healthy eating diet plan.
Click here to read the full content of the Eighth Edition of the 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.