New dietary guidelines issued in US

By Judy Buttriss

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition

Judy Buttriss, director general, British Nutrition Foundation
Judy Buttriss, director general, British Nutrition Foundation
Dietary guidelines are updated on a five-year cycle in the US, following review of the scientific evidence.

The guidelines for 2015-2020, published in January, place emphasis on the big picture, nutrient dense dietary patterns (examples are given) and the need to shift choices. They apply to people over the age of two and, unlike the UK guidelines, propose quantities of foods at different calorie levels for each of six different food groups.

Healthy diet

A healthy diet is described as: a variety of vegetable types; fruits; grains, at least half of which should be whole grains; fat-free or low-fat dairy products and/or fortified soya beverages; a variety of protein foods including seafood, lean meat and poultry, eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds and soya products; and oils.

The term 'nutrient density' refers to nutritional value not being diluted by the addition of solid fats, sugars, refined starches or salt.

Limit on added sugars

Gone is the advice to strictly limit eggs owing to their cholesterol content and new is a quantitative limit on added sugars set at 10% of calories (the equivalent limit in the UK is 5%).

Limits remain on sodium (salt), saturated fat, trans fat and alcohol. Physical activity guidelines exist in tandem.

Related topics: Food Ingredients, Health & Nutrition

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1 comment

Limits on Saturated Fats

Posted by Antero Libanan,

Not all saturated fats are metabolized in the same manner. Medium Chain Fatty Acids (62% in coconut oil) are saturated fats but are metabolized differently from the longer chain saturated fatty acids (like palmitic and stearic acids). Are there details on the limits on saturated fats that put emphasis on this distinction?

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