Monday, January 31, 2011

Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010: Our Take

A suspected, there is very little that has changed since the last incarnation. While the committee had alluded to major changes during their meetings, the report is more of the same. Here are a few of the highlights/lowlights from our perspective:
  • We got a kick out the top 25 sources of calories among Americans age 2 and older: grain-based desserts top the list for all three age ranges, with yeast breads and pizza to follow. The full list is available on page 12.
  • Suggested reducing sodium from 2,300mg to 1,500 mg daily. Not exactly a revelation.
  • While they said to keep trans fat consumption as low as possible, they did not recommend eliminating all synthetic trans fat, which is downright abominable!
  • "Nutrients of Concern": Potassium, Dietary Fiber, Calcium, Vitamin D; for specific groups: Iron, Folate, Vitamin B-12. Hmm, where is magnesium, omega-3, etc.?
  • They did allude to the effectiveness of the DASH and Mediterranean Diet for cardiovascular health.
  • They pooh-poohed glycemic load/glycemic index.
  • They had a small section on coping with food allergies and food intolerances. The DGA once again referred to food intolerances as legitimate. Why does the medical community not address them?
  • They stated that "sufficient evidence is not available to support a recommendation for or against the use of multivitamin.mineral supplements in the primary prevention of chronic disease for the healthy American population." You've got to be kidding right? The healthy American population that most commonly consumes calories from grain-based desserts, yeast breads, and pizza? For a committee that emphasized real foods and nutrients, it seems that to get to back to a healthy population, a multivitamin/mineral supplement can at least supplement nutrients for the majority who are eating horrifically. In addition, many studies have shown that nutrient-dense foods are not provide the proper amount of nutrients that they used to because of the nutrient-poor soils that exist.

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