So what’s new with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans? Nothing much, according to a feature on MedPage Today, despite the fact that this is the federal government’s first update of the guidelines in five years.
The revision of the dietary guidelines is a joint effort of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services. The updated guidelines carry a 2010 date, but were released end of January this year.
The changes consisted mainly of wording tweaks, a reorganization of how some of the recommendations were presented in the previous version, according to the feature. The basic recommendations for maximum intake of fats and cholesterol, sodium, potassium, and fiber, did not change.
The following daily limits were set by the updated guidelines:
• Fat intake: 20% to 35% of total calories
• Saturated fat: less than 10% of total calories (mono- and polyunsaturated fats may be substituted)
• Trans-fats: less than 1% of calories
• Cholesterol: less than 300 mg
• Fiber: 14 g per 1,000 calories
• Potassium: 4,700 mg
• Sodium: less than 1,500 mg for all African-Americans and those with hypertension, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease (including children), as well as persons older than 51; everyone else is advised to consume under 2,300 mg of sodium a day
• Fruits and vegetables: at least 2.5 cups
• Refined grains: less than 3 oz
When MedPage Today sought the opinion of academic physicians regarding the updated guidelines, they seemed to be unsure about the ability of the guidelines to change the eating habits of Americans.