USDA, HHS release new dietary guidelines
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture and HHS have released the 2020 to 2025 dietary guidelines to encourage healthy eating within calorie limits.

The agencies said the recommendations, which are updated every 5 years, “reflect personal preferences, cultural traditions and budgetary considerations.”

For the first time, the guidance also includes healthy dietary recommendations for infants and toddlers, thereby providing suggestions that can be started at any point in life or across a person’s lifespan.

Some recommendations include:

-- Consuming as many different vegetables, fruits (especially whole fruit), grains (with at least 50% being whole grain), fat-free or low-fat or lactose-free dairy products, fortified soy beverages, lean meats, poultry, eggs, seafood, beans, peas, lentils and nuts as possible;

-- Limiting intake of added sugars and saturated fat to less than 10% of daily calories in individuals aged 2 years and older, and no such intake among those younger than 2 years;

-- Consuming less than 2,300 mg of sodium daily in those aged 14 years and older, with lower limits for those younger than 14 years; and

-- Restricting daily consumption of alcoholic beverages to a maximum of two drinks for men and one drink for women.

“The new dietary guidelines use the best available evidence to give Americans the information they need to make healthy decisions for themselves and their families,” HHS Secretary said

The President of the American Heart Association, said in a press release that the AHA was “pleased” the guidelines provide recommendations for infants and toddlers for the first time.

“But we are disappointed that USDA and HHS did not accept all of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s science-based recommendations in the final guidelines for 2020, including the recommendation to lower added sugars consumption to less than 6% of calories,” he added.

The AHA said that “many adults and children have little room in their diet for empty calories,” including refined fruit juices and sugary drinks. These patients “need to go lower than 10% to have a healthy dietary pattern and meet their essential nutrient needs.”