Dietary Guidelines: New Highlights and Why

Every five years, a Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, comprised of nationally recognized experts in nutrition, medical and public health, review what Americans age 2+ should be eating. They review and delve deep into the new science and key understandings in order to make recommendations for great health. After a public comment period which has been extended to May, the Health and Human Services Department will publish the final 2015 American Dietary Guidelines, which will take the committee’s recommendation into consideration.

These final recommendations are important because they become the foundation by which the federal government develops national nutrition policy and the advice that our doctors and other health care professionals give us. Let’s take a closer look at some of the specifics and what this means to us, our families and our communities.

Dr. Nina’s What You Need To Know About Highlights From the New American Dietary Guidelines:

Cholesterol. Previously, it was recommended that we should not ingest more than 300 milligrams/day of cholesterol because it would increase our blood cholesterol levels. To put this in perspective, a single egg contains 187 milligrams of cholesterol. However, the recent recommendations have nixed this limit. Research has shown that there is “no appreciable relationship” between our cholesterol intake and blood cholesterol levels. Instead, blood levels are mostly determined by our genes. This means that egg lovers can enjoy scrambled, over-easy, hard-boiled, or sunnyside-up eggs without the guilt.

Salt. The new recommendations take a “softer approach” to our sodium intake — suggesting limiting it to 2,300 milligrams (compared to the prior 1,500 milligrams) a day for all people, including those most at risk for heart disease. This change stems from the fact that most Americans consume more than 3,400 milligrams (making it an unattainable goal), combined with a lack of science to support health benefits when less than 2,300 milligrams are ingested.