The newly released 2015 Dietary Guidelines by the US Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and of Agriculture (USDA) recommend fewer than 10% of calories per day come from added sugars and place an emphasis on healthy dietary patterns. According to the guidelines, “Eating pattern may be more predictive of overall health status and disease risk than individual foods or nutrients.” Additional recommendations include limiting saturated fat intake to fewer than 10% of calories per day and sodium to less than 2300 mg/day. Former guidelines restricting cholesterol to 300 mg/day have been eliminated but because the updated recommendations limit saturated fat, dietary cholesterol is consequently reduced due to the commonality of food sources.
Although some experts are critical of the guidelines and believe they could have been written with more clarity, other experts and organizations, such as the American Medical Association (AMA), are praising them. According to Steven Stack, MD, AMA president, “With obesity and its associated health consequences–namely type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease–on the rise throughout our country, the AMA is extremely pleased that the new recommendations call for significantly reducing the amount of added sugars and sugar sweetened beverages from the American diet.”
Learn more at the inaugural CMHC West being held March 4-5, 2016 at the Marriott Marquis, San Francisco, where “Food is Medicine–Building Nutritional Interventions Into Your Practice,” will be presented.