first of all, thank you so much for all of your comments on yesterday’s post. i liked the discussion about the topic. i think one thing that really stuck out to me was lindsay’s comment that when it comes down to it, we can’t make the changes for others, they have to want it for themselves. so true.
before i get to what i really want to talk about today (the 2010 dietary guidelines for americans that were released yesterday), i have to show you what i did last night! 🙂
when i cleaned out my closet + dresser a couple weeks ago, i had a huge pile of clothes that i was planning to donate to goodwill. jenn from peas & crayons commented that i needed to grab a shirt or two out of that pile to make one of her diy shredded jersey scarves. i FINALLY did it last night! it’s really easy to do, so you should check out her blog for all the details! note: she just did a follow-up post with another method last night. i still have one my shirt that i didn’t end up using last night, so i might try the new method too! 🙂
anyway, i started with this pile of 4 shirts that i thought i would like to turn into scarves.
then i followed the directions on jenn’s blog and ended up with this…
three fun new scarves to spice things up for ZERO dollars! that’s what i’m talking about. thanks jenn!’
ok, on to business…
yesterday, the 2010 dietary guidelines for americans were presented by the department of health and human services and the USDA at a press conference. i watched the live stream of the press conference (yes i’m a dork) and read through the whole policy document (ok, so i scanned a lot of it – it’s over 100 pages!).
there are definitely some big picture recommendations that stand out when you read the document. they recommend that americans INCREASE their intake of:
- fruits and vegetables and add variety (no surprise here)
- low-fat or fat-free dairy (and remove high-fat versions)
- whole grain consumption (while decreasing refined versions)
- increase variety in protein choices
- increase consumption and variety of seafood
- replace proteins high in solid fat with those lower in solid fats
- use oil in place of solid fat
- increase foods that are good sources of potassium, dietary fiber, calcium, and vitamin D
they recommend that americans REDUCE their intake of:
- sodium (to 2300 or 1500 mg per day depending on risk group)
- sugar-sweetened beverages
- saturated fat (less than 10% of total daily calories)
- cholesterol (300mg or less day per)
- trans fat (as low as possible)
- solid fats (butter, coconut oil, palm oil, animal fat, shortening, margarine)
- refined grains (and replace with whole grains)
- alcohol (only consume if your are of legal drinking age and then in moderation)
what i liked about these recommendations:
- they recommend increasing fruits and vegetables, which is great! one of their selected messages to give consumers was to make each plate of food half fruits and vegetables. everyone could stand to eat more fruits and veggies.
- they recommend drinking water instead of sugary drinks. i highly support this idea too. children are consuming a HUGE percentage of their daily calories from beverages, which are less satiating and usually high in sugar. water and milk are the best choices for children AND adults.
- there is a whole chapter on balancing calories to manage weight and another one on establishing good dietary patterns. they recommend eating less and avoiding oversized portions (portion distortion is a MAJOR pet peeve of mine). the fact that they are talking about dietary patterns is great because it relates all of these individual food group/nutrient recommendations to an overall HEALTHY DIET.
a couple things i dislike about the recommendations:
- this one is totally political, but in talking about protein choices, they were very indirect in their recommendations. they say to choose less of those that are high in solid fats. that is extremely confusing to most of the population. they should have just said eat less beef, pork, and chicken. but, this issue goes back to the first set of dietary guidelines many years ago where they DID make a suggestion to decrease consumption of certain meats. the meat lobbiests threw a fit, threw some money around, and those recommendations were removed. to me, that is absolutely ridiculous and we clearly haven’t moved past that in today’s recommendations.
- the new sodium recommendation is very very low. i keep track of my daily intake on an iphone app, and even in my minimally processed diet, i still almost always go over 1500mg. i agree that reducing sodium intake in the overall population is a good idea, but i’m not sure how attainable this is.
oh my goodness, i had a couple more points i wanted to make, but this post is getting a little long. you get a cookie if you read it all! 🙂
i have a LOT more that i could say about the new guidelines and i actually wrote up a little comparison of the 2005 guidelines with the 2010 ones because i was really interested to see exactly what had been changed, but i don’t want to be even more long-winded. if anyone is interested, i can talk about the rest of this in another post soon.
what do you think of the new recommendations?