Less Meat and Salt and More Vegetables

Less Meat and Salt and More VegetablesThe Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services issues updated dietary guidelines every five years to help Americans make healthy food choices. In 2010, new dietary guidelines are expected to suggest changes that are designed to address the country’s obesity epidemic.

Some of the new guidelines may include:

  • Reducing the recommended daily sodium intake from 2,300 milligrams to 1,500 milligrams
  • Adding emphasis on vegetables, cooked dry beans and peas, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and seeds
  • Increasing the recommended guidelines for seafood and low-fat dairy products
  • Suggesting only moderate consumption of lean proteins and eggs

In addition to addressing the eating behaviors of Americans, the new guidelines are expected to address physical activity and nutrition education. It’s expected that adults will be recommended to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of a vigorous-intensity activity each week. Children and teens are encouraged to get at least an hour of moderate or vigorous activity each day. Nutrition education should be aimed at helping families prepare healthier meals that include an ample supply of fruits and vegetables.

These new guidelines will also address access to healthy foods and potential barriers that families face to a healthy lifestyle. Margo G. Wootan, PhD, the nutrition policy director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, says, “We look beyond wagging fingers and saying ‘eat more fruits and vegetables’ and look at barriers and call for a national strategy to help people follow the recommendations.”