New Dietary Guidelines…Now What?
Posted by Natalie Simone
Biggest news in health and eating this week seems to be the new 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines that were released last week. Released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, these guidelines are for the American public to follow and designed to help Americans eat a healthier diet. Although the edition is said to be “intended for health professionals” it does outline how we can improve our overall eating habits for the better.
I’m going to focus on a part of the guidelines that I found to be helpful and interesting and these are what were called, “healthy shifts,” which are basically substitutions. These shifts can be made all throughout your day. And the reason for these? Well, of course to be healthier, but also according to the Guidelines about half of all American adults have one or more chronic diseases, which many times is from a poor diet.
What are the Shifts?
Not hard to grasp. But some may be harder than others. Here are a few:
- Low-fat milk instead of whole milk
- Pasta with lighter sauce, heavy on the veggies, instead of a creamy white sauce
- Whole bread instead of white bread
- Less fatty meat cuts and more lean meats or beans
- Opt for unsalted nuts instead of potato chips
- Make a homemade fruit smoothie instead of ice cream (this one will be tough in my house)
The goals here are eating more whole grains, cutting down on saturated fats, cut down on added sugar and lowering your sodium intake to name a few.
How or Where to Shift?
This will need to really be a mental shift in your mindset. The chance to make a healthier choice is all around you. When you open the fridge everyday, when you shop in the grocery store, when you make lunch, at a restaurant and when you are making your dinner at home.
*For a look at the new dietary guidelines from an RD point of view, please read this post by one of our resident RDNs Neva Cochran.