Americans Follow Dietary Guidelines only Seven Days Per Year

Renew You Challenge

Let’s start this week off right!

 

Weekly challenge (I mean opportunity!) to help set you off on the right foot and in the right direction for bringing health to your week. You could even add it to your calendar.  Join us! 

The new MyPlate icon that represents the new U.S. Dietary Guidelines is a step in the right direction as far as food recommending goes, but it still falls short of what I call—and what many people call—healthy eating.

A recent study has found that Americans only achieve at least 70 percent of the guideline recommendations seven days each year. So if Americans are not even able to meet these guidelines, how difficult will it be to make even greater improvements in diet? Clearly, something has got to change.

A recent editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine criticizes the new MyPlate Guidelines, saying that the food industry greatly influenced the new recommendations. The editorial, which came from two Harvard public health professors, questioned the allowance for up to half of grains to come from refined grains. Refined grains are a big part of why over two-thirds of this country is overweight or obese, and why so many people have diabetes and heart disease. Refined grains should be eliminated completely, in my opinion.

Other recommendations were not made as clearly as they could have in the new MyPlate recommendations. The editorial stated, “A clearer message would have been that Americans must reduce consumption of red meat, cheese, butter, and sugar, but that message would have offended powerful industries.”

This week, when planning your meals, fill your plate with plenty of vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Snack on fruits like berries. Consume whole grains, as well, but don’t make them the focus of your meals. And get the sugar out of your diet—it really doesn’t belong there.

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