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The REAL New Dietary Guidelines

2010 dietary guidelinesThe 2010 Dietary Guidelines are out … the announcement for the updates was made this morning, like it is every 5 years.  And the biggest change in my mind after all the anticipation? 

Eat less salt. 

What else did they suggest?

Focus more on plant based foods, eat less solid fats and sugar, drink less sugary drinks (like soda), and up the whole grains.

Considering someone just left my office with a "7 cans of coke addiction" … we certainly have a long way to go to come anywhere close to meeting these.

Let’s dive in a bit further.

Here are some of the specific summary points from the Guidelines themselves.  I’ll offer my take on the recommendations below.

  • Fat intake: 20% to 35% of total calories
  • Saturated fat: less than 10% of total calories (mono- and polyunsaturated fats may be substituted)
  • Trans-fats: less than 1% of calories
  • Cholesterol: less than 300 mg
  • Fiber: 14 g per 1,000 calories
  • Potassium: 4,700 mg
  • Sodium: less than 1,500 mg for all African Americans and those with hypertension, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease (including children), as well as persons older than 51; everyone else is advised to consume under 2,300 mg of sodium a day
  • Fruits and vegetables: at least 2.5 cups
  • Refined grains: less than 3 oz

So the biggest "change" in the Guidelines is to hold the salt … more specifically, if you’re African American, over 51, have diabetes, high blood pressure, or chronic kidney disease hold it to no more than 1500 mg/day.  Or, in English, 1/2 tsp total salt per day (the American Heart Association thinks it should be at this level across the board).  I agree.

According to the 2010 Guidelines, everyone else should stick to the less than 2,300 mg recommendation per day (even though the current average intake is about 3,400 mg).

Nothing tremendously shocking.  We eat and drink too much sugar and solid fat.  Most don’t eat enough veggies, fruit, and fiber.  They did also offer a few more practical Guidelines — my favorite?  Enjoy your food, but eat less. 

Where do I think the Guidelines went wrong?

I think they could get even more specific, though, and speak in "real" terms.  Unless you’re "in the game" and living and breathing nutrition each day, this is all jibberish.  Same with the Pyramid that will be updated and revealed later this year.  People eat off plates, not Pyramids.  Let’s create a "Food Plate" that visually makes sense to people.

People also don’t think about eating calories.  They certainly don’t think about eating nutrients.  People eat foods.

I eat an orange.  I don’t savor vitamin C and bioflavonoids.  I drink milk.  I’m not enjoying a tall glass of calcium.  And I certainly don’t drink sugary beverages.  I have a can of coke (well, I don’t, but you get the point).

So let’s talk in that same language that Americans "get."  Here are the Top 12 Mohr Results Dietary Guidelines — they’re a lot more specific than the Dietary Guidelines and in a language that American’s speak — even though many of them are saying the same thing.

  1. Don’t drink soda.  It’s like pouring toxic sludge down your throat.
  2. Every single meal and snack should contain a vegetable and/or fruit.
  3. Make the majority of your fat intake from liquid sources, like olive and
    canola oil. 
  4. Don’t swear off the fats found naturally in real butter and steak, though. Those are fine in moderation
    (read: as part of a reasonably-sized meal). The real issue isn’t saturated fat itself; it’s the saturated fats you find in processed foods–the stuff you already know is "junk" (like baked goods and candy bars).
  5. Eat fish at least 2 times per week. 
  6. Trans fat will kill you — you get it from eating French fries, many baked goods, pastries, and a lot of other packaged items.  Avoid these.
  7. Throw the salt shaker away.  Seasonings, herbs, and even citrus zest offer a better alternative.
  8. Use divided picnic plates to help with portions — the large section should be filled with veggies and/or fruit, the smaller sections should be reserved for a lean protein and the other for a high fiber whole grain
  9. All carbohydrates you eat should have 3 or more grams of fiber/serving. 
  10. Don’t eat out more times each week that you eat "in" — eating at home is always a better option.  And when you do eat out, ask for a "doggie bag" BEFORE your meal is served at restaurants — it will help cut the portions in half.
  11. If a food turns your fingers or milk another color OR has a cartoon on the package, toss it out if it’s in your house and leave it on the shelf the next time you’re at the grocery store (this "Guideline" excludes colorful fruits and veggies, like berries or pomegranates).
  12. MOVE more and move often.  Never go more than 60 minutes without standing up for your desk and at the very least walking around the office.  In addition, set aside time for structured exercise.

8 Responses to The REAL New Dietary Guidelines

  1. Matthew January 31, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

    Great list, but I question salt.

    If we are paying attention to what we eat, low sodium foods, not a ton of take out, etc… Is using salt at home that big of a deal?

    Take existing health conditions out of the equation… If you have a condition and need to address it AND salt is the culprit, makes sense to cut down if not eliminate it.

    What about the rest of us?

    Also, the eating out thing can be very challenging for those of us who work full time, go to school, etc… Not impossible (I have leftovers in the fridge ready for the week) This is still very very challenging…

  2. LoRayne Haye M.S. C.N. January 31, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    Greetings, Chris and Kara,

    Nice take on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines. I agree, most people who really need to understand the nutritional facts, need to have the info broken down into ‘people speak’–nothing more. I feel you did a great job.

    As for the coloring –the gal who mentioned the foods which hold the color keys–nutritionally, such as beets & pomegranates has a point. Certainly, those are the little jems we practitioners want our clients becoming one with. In regards to the Canola Oil being detrimental–the gentleman brings up a vaild point, which has become an ongoing debate, as I’m sure you’re aware.
    Since I’m paid to do research for companies and have researched Canola Oil extensively. I may be able to shed some reasonable light on the subject.

    Canola has become the maligned oil, as of late. Most of the controversial swirl surrounds the fact that over 95% of Canola is from GMO stock. With that being said–yes, I would have to agree. Within that frame it does become insidious and is currently an oil I would not recommend, at least under those circumstances. However, the nutritional profile isn’t bad–it is an Omega 6, which most Americans are over the top rife with–as such they really don’t need an additional amount. However, IF, the Canola Oil is Organic and has been cold pressed and someone wanted to use it within their food planning–on a limited basis—depending on their health hx. I wouldn’t be opposed as long as it was not contraindicated to their overall health goal. Keep in mind that any oil can be damaged due to the manufacturers processing said oil’s with high heat. So, that means flax, olive, walnut, grape, almond etc etc. I have a degree in Chemistry–needless to say I have a lot to say within this realm.

    Kind Regards,
    LoRayne Haye M.S. C.N
    Nutrition & Research Director
    Eating-4-Energy

  3. LoRayne Haye M.S. C.N. January 31, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    Greetings, Chris and Kara,

    Nice take on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines. I agree, most people who really need to understand the nutritional facts, need to have the info broken down into ‘people speak’–nothing more. I feel you did a great job.

    As for the coloring –the gal who mentioned the foods which hold the color keys–nutritionally, such as beets & pomegranates has a point. Certainly, those are the little jems we practitioners want our clients becoming one with. In regards to the Canola Oil being detrimental–the gentleman brings up a vaild point, which has become an ongoing debate, as I’m sure you’re aware.
    Since I’m paid to do research for companies and have researched Canola Oil extensively. I may be able to shed some reasonable light on the subject.

    Canola has become the maligned oil, as of late. Most of the controversial swirl surrounds the fact that over 95% of Canola is from GMO stock. With that being said–yes, I would have to agree. Within that frame it does become insidious and is currently an oil I would not recommend, at least under those circumstances. However, the nutritional profile isn’t bad–it is an Omega 6, which most Americans are over the top rife with–as such they really don’t need an additional amount. However, IF, the Canola Oil is Organic and has been cold pressed and someone wanted to use it within their food planning–on a limited basis—depending on their health hx. I wouldn’t be opposed as long as it was not contraindicated to their overall health goal. Keep in mind that any oil can be damaged due to the manufacturers processing said oil’s with high heat. So, that means flax, olive, walnut, grape, almond etc etc. I have a degree in Chemistry–needless to say I have a lot to say within this realm.

    Kind Regards,
    LoRayne Haye M.S. C.N
    Nutrition & Research Director
    Eating-4-Energy

  4. LoRayne Haye M.S. C.N. January 31, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    Greetings, Chris and Kara,

    Nice take on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines. I agree, most people who really need to understand the nutritional facts, need to have the info broken down into \’people speak\’–nothing more. I feel you did a great job.

    As for the coloring –the gal who mentioned the foods which hold the color keys–nutritionally, such as beets & pomegranates has a point. Certainly, those are the little jems we practitioners want our clients becoming one with. In regards to the Canola Oil being detrimental–the gentleman brings up a vaild point, which has become an ongoing debate, as I\’m sure you\’re aware.
    Since I\’m paid to do research for companies and have researched Canola Oil extensively. I may be able to shed some reasonable light on the subject.

    Canola has become the maligned oil, as of late. Most of the controversial swirl surrounds the fact that over 95% of Canola is from GMO stock. With that being said–yes, I would have to agree. Within that frame it does become insidious and is currently an oil I would not recommend, at least under those circumstances. However, the nutritional profile isn\’t bad–it is an Omega 6, which most Americans are over the top rife with–as such they really don\’t need an additional amount. However, IF, the Canola Oil is Organic and has been cold pressed and someone wanted to use it within their food planning–on a limited basis—depending on their health hx. I wouldn\’t be opposed as long as it was not contraindicated to their overall health goal. Keep in mind that any oil can be damaged due to the manufacturers processing said oil\’s with high heat. So, that means flax, olive, walnut, grape, almond etc etc. I have a degree in Chemistry–needless to say I have a lot to say within this realm.

    Kind Regards,
    LoRayne Haye M.S. C.N
    Nutrition & Research Director
    Eating-4-Energy

  5. LoRayne Haye M.S. C.N. January 31, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

    P.S. Apologies for all of the /// which were included with the context of the message. Guess my computer hit the freak out button!
    LoRayne

  6. Colleen wages January 31, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

    I can’t agree more with your specific guidelines. I love your idea about a “food plate” vs the food pyramid. I am a personal trainer and have learned so much from your blog. I look forward to getting the emails! Keep up the great work!

  7. Jim from Functional Fitness Facts February 1, 2011 at 9:16 am #

    One easy way to cut back on sodium is to use lite salt instead of regular table salt. Lite salt contains half the amount of sodium per serving as regular table salt.

    Your taste for salt is acquired, so it’s reversible. If you gradually decrease your use of salt your taste buds will adjust.

  8. Mark February 28, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    Love #6, I like how they say keep to less than 1%. Here’s an idea, just like you said, eliminate it. There’s no biological need for it.

    As for salt, it’s still getting a bad rap when studies show otherwise. Even if one has high blood pressure stressing about lowering salt intake still only leads to 2-6 pt decrease, which is still important. Americans #1 source of salt? CDC says it’s bread, the same “whole grains” we’ve been told to consume more of.

    And a high processed carb diet (which is what most “whole” grains people consume are) increase blood pressure probably more than salt.

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