Every five years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture revise the nation’s Dietary Guidelines. Later this year, the 2015 Guidelines will be published, and Americans can expect to see some changes from those published in 2010. As a preview, the Dietary Guidelines Report was released on February 19, 2015, and it outlines the advisory committee’s recommendations.
Proposed changes to dietary guidelines
Eggs have had a bad reputation for years because of the total cholesterol in a single egg yolk. Many people started only eating egg whites to avoid the 187 mg. of cholesterol in one egg yolk. The current recommendation is to consume less than 300 mg. of cholesterol daily. According to the Dietary Guidelines Report, there will be no recommendation for daily cholesterol in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines. Research is not showing that eating less cholesterol is having any positive effect on cholesterol lab values. “Available evidence shows no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol,” the preliminary report says. Eggs are packed with protein, nutrients, and are also very affordable. This makes eggs a winner for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines.
Fruits and vegetables
The report shows that fruits and vegetables are good for everyone. Many foods fall under the category of being good for some people but not others. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, they get the stamp of approval for all diets, making them another winner among the 2015 Dietary Guidelines.
Sugar & refined grains
Excess sugar and refined grains were called out negatively in this report. “Higher consumption of sugar-sweetened foods and beverages as well as refined grains was identified as detrimental in almost all conclusion statements with moderate to strong evidence.”
Meat & poultry
Lean meat was not in the spotlight on the report, which upset many meat producers. Barry Carpenter, President and CEO of the North American Meat Institute, stated “nutrient-dense lean meat is a headline, not a footnote.” He commented about the studies that have shown lean meat and poultry are some of the nutrient dense foods available. Processed meats and excessive red meat consumption received negative attention in the report.
Alcohol received mixed reviews in the report. Some people may receive positive health benefits from including alcohol in their diet, but not everyone will see these positive effects. With the risk of negative consequences, the Guidelines Report does not recommend drinking alcohol as a way to promote health benefits.
Remember these findings are not finalized. For now, they are just part of the Dietary Guidelines Report. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines are scheduled to be released later this year.