New Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the USDA

The USDA released their new nutritional guidelines (updated every 5 years). I thought it was interesting to read directly from the source, rather than filtered through the media.

For those with only a little time, you might just want to read the executive summary.

The full report contains more detailed information, including their methodology and links to the supporting evidence used to formulate the guidelines, as well as information on particular food groups (protein, carbs, etc.).

A few things that I found interesting:

Potassium reduces the effect that salt has on blood pressure. Go bananas!

Moderate alcohol consumption (1 drink/day for women; 1 to 2 drinks per day for men) significantly reduces the risk of developing diabetes, reduces the risk of having a stroke, and reduced the rate of cognitive decline with age. However, all of the obvious qualifiers still apply. Whoa! Who knew that alcohol could be so good for you? The obvious caveats still apply: Heavy alcohol consumption is still very bad. Alcohol should still be avoided if it will conflict with medications or for people with a variety of other medical conditions. Alcohol is high in calories, etc. See the Alcohol section for more details.

Those concerned with gastrointestinal issues might be interested in the Carbohydrates section, particularly Table D5.1, which describes the different types of carbohydrates and how they are (or aren't) digested.

If you find some other interesting tidbit in there, I'd love to hear about it.


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