2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans are here!

The Superbowl may be on Sunday, but yesterday, on January 31st, a Superbowl of sorts occurred in the nutrition world. Minus the husky men in spandex.

Yesterday marked the introduction of the new 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (it was last updated in 2005). Published by the USDA, they are the

the federal government’s evidence-based nutritional guidance to promote health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity through improved nutrition and physical activity.

So what’s on tap for us this go-round? This year there is a concentration  on our unhealthy population, as obesity, heart disease, and cancer is on the rise.  The guidelines focus on balancing calories with exercise, eating more fruits and vegetables and whole grains, consuming fish 2-3 times per week, and lowering the amount of sodium, saturated fat, trans-fat, and sugar we consume.

Here is an example of some of the “consumer-friendly” dietary guidelines, from the USDA website:

• Avoid oversized portions.
• Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
• Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
• Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals – and choose the foods with lower numbers.
• Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

For more information on the new Dietary Guidelines, and how to incorporate them into your life for better health, check this out from the American Dietetic Association, and also today’s blog post from Marion Nestle deconstructing the Dietary Guidelines.

If you’re not a nutritionist: Have you ever heard of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans? After reading the links I posted, what are your thoughts?

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