A Healthy Start with the New 2015-2020 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans

by Danielle Starin, MS, RD on February 24, 2016  |  Topics: News

With more than two-thirds (68%) of Americans overweight or obese, chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension have been on the rise. In an effort to improve the health of Americans, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture work together to update the Dietary Guidelines for Americans every five years. The new 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines were recently released with some surprising new recommendations. Read on to learn more!

Dietary Guidelines: What’s New, and What’s Not

The guidelines are comprised of nutrition and health recommendations based on evidence-based scientific data. According to the USDA, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines focus more on overall eating patterns such as consuming a variable, nutrient-dense diet filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, and less on specific nutrients. However, they do provide specific guidelines on three dietary components: salt, sugar, and fat.

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines recommendations for salt and saturated fat have remained the same as the 2010 edition: less than 2,300 mg per day of sodium (salt), and less than 10% of your total calories per day from saturated fat. For a 2,000 calorie diet, that means no more than 20 grams of saturated fat per day.

So What About Sugar?

This edition of the Dietary Guidelines added something new—specific recommendations for added sugar. The new recommendation is to limit intake of added sugar (any sugar that is not naturally occurring from milk or fruit) to less than 10% of your total caloric intake.  On a 2,000 calories per day diet, that means no more than 50 grams of added sugar. That’s about what you would get in one 16 fl oz bottle of soda.

Take Control of Your Health!

With the recent release of the Dietary Guidelines, now is the time to take control of your health, and Nutritionix is here to help. We have free tools easily accessible from your smartphone or computer that will allow you to keep track of the foods you eat, calculate your caloric intake, and even look at what others are eating by following @Nutritionix on Twitter.

For more information and a full report on the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans,  visit http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/


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