An advisory committee for the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans released its recommendations on June 12th, giving interested parties 30 days to comment (at www.dietaryguidelines.gov). The recommendations by the 13-person panel made up of nutrition and health experts include cutting calorie intake and increasing physical activity, shifting to a more plant-based diet and significantly reducing the consumption of foods containing added sugars and solid fats.
It emphasizes the benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds and seafood. There is also a recommendation to cut sodium intake gradually to 1,500 mg a day. For physical activity, the panel recommends at least two-and-a-half hours of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking, each week for adults and more for teens and children. Among other food-related changes recommended are…
• Improving nutrition literacy and cooking skills
• More cooking of healthy foods in the home
• Increasing the availability of affordable fresh produce to consumers
• Encouraging foodservice establishments to menu more healthful items lower in sodium, sugar, refined grains and solid fats, and in smaller portion sizes
The Dietary Guidelines, first published in 1980 and updated every five years, form the basis of government nutrition programs and education efforts.