Category: Nutrition

Updated Dietary Guidelines Limit Added Sugars, Emphasize Healthy Eating Patterns

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.


2015 Diet Guide Departs From Recommendations–new guidelines add focus on dietary patterns and cap sugar. MedPage Today. January 7, 2016.

2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

AMA Supports Newest Dietary Guidelines for Americans to Improve Public Health.

Including Walnuts in Daily Diet Improves Health in Adults at Risk for Diabetes

Researchers randomized 112 participants, 31 men and 81 women, ranging in age from 25 to 75 years with multiple risk factors for diabetes (overweight, high blood sugar, blood pressure, or cholesterol, or excess fat around the midsection) to follow a reduced calorie diet with or without nutrition counseling. Within these groups, half were randomly assigned to add walnuts to their daily diet (about 2 ounces/day) for 6 months. After a 3-month break, researchers then switched the groups. Participants were assessed for diet quality, body composition, and cardiac risk measures.

Study results showed that walnuts, with or without nutrition counseling, significantly improved diet quality as measured by the Healthy Eating Index 2010. Endothelial function and total and LDL-C significantly improved from baseline; other factors such as BMI, percent body fat, visceral fat, fasting glucose, glycated hemoglobin, and blood pressure, did not change significantly.

Read the full study here.

Njike V et al. Walnut ingestion in adults at risk for diabetes: effects of body composition, diet quality, and cardiac risk measures. BMJ Open Diab Res Care. 2015;3:e000115 doi:10.1136/bmjdrc-2015-000115.