Friday, May 18, 2012

Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010

(Originaly posted May 14th, 2012 on www.tigrisnutrition.com)

The expanding girth of Americans has prompted governmental agencies such as the USDA to step up it's efforts in combating obesity. On January 31st of 2011, the USDA and HHS released the updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. A few months back, I attended a lecture on efforts in communicating and promoting these guidelines by Dr. Richard Post, Deputy Director of the USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. He noted that the focus of these guidelines is to tackle the obesity epidemic

Americans are knowledgeable on how to eat well, they just need guidance in navigating portion control and caloric intake according to Dr. Richard Post. To help out, tools such as those found under choosemyplate.gov were developed. The site helps out with everything from food journaling (which is an effective weight loss tool) to meal planning. And, of course, MyPyramid was replaced with the now famous MyPlate for it's simplicity in assisting with consumers food choices on a meal by meal basis. Games, aprons and other visual tools are being implemented to reinforce healthier dietary habits on the American population.

Caloric balance (calories taken in vs. those expended via physical activity) and choosing foods that are nutrient dense are focal points of these guidelines. Eating more seafood, choosing lower fat dairy products, increasing whole grain consumption and limiting sodium intake are encouraged. I would like to point out that eating healthy should not only be about weight loss. No matter what your size you need to eat well to maintain your well being at it's optimal level.

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