Colorado Springs readers get look at new dietary guidelines

Apple cranberry salad toss is a sweet and tart green salad that’s just one healthy dish touted online at myplate.gov. See recipe on Page 2.

Since 1980, the federal government has issued new dietary guidelines every five years in a document published by the departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services. The latest edition, “The 2020-25 Dietary Guidelines for Americans,” is out and has launched a campaign tagged, “Make every bite count.” There are two main takeaways.

For the first time, dietary recommendations for infants and toddlers have been included. It notes that children under age 2 should consume no added sugars. Added sugars, including honey, are found in processed foods like sodas and breakfast cereals. Natural sugars found in milk and fruit are not a problem.

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Starting at age 2, sugar in the diet should be limited to less than 10% of daily calories.

This number wasn’t the first choice of the scientific committee, made up of 20 doctors and academics. It had recommended limiting added sugars to 6% of daily calories, because of health- related issues linked to added sugars, like obesity and type 2 diabetes.

The new guidelines also did not take the scientific committee’s recommendation for alcohol, which was lowering consumption of alcoholic beverages for men from two drinks a day to one. That would match the recommended drink limit for women, which is one per day. Research has shown greater alcoholic consumption is linked to a higher risk of death.

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That these quantitative recommendations were not followed is the second big takeaway. According to a press release, this happened because “there was not a preponderance of evidence in the material the committee reviewed to support specific changes, as required by law.”

The new guidelines advise people to follow a healthy dietary pattern focusing on consuming nutrient-dense foods like veggies, fruits, whole grains, lean meat and poultry and low-fat dairy, as well as seafood, nuts and vegetable oils. Also, people should avoid added saturated fats and sodium and follow recommended calorie limits.

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To assist in getting on a healthy lifestyle program, USDA offers the Start Simple with MyPlate program at myplate.gov. The website is packed with ways to make healthy food choices.

contact the writer: 636-0271.

contact the writer: 636-0271.

Food editor

Food writer for features life section and columnist for Go! Entertainment - Table Talk column

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