Happy Healthy Families Asks: Have You Read The 8 New Food Rules?


A new report by 13 of the country’s top scientists was released last week, and it has some new advice on how and what we eat. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the USDA publish the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which basically tell us what we should be eating. To advise them on what these nutrition “rules” should be, the Secretaries of these two agencies appoint a committee of 13 top scientists to review loads of research and come up with an advisory report. This same report will also serve as the basis for the Dietary Guidelines (that's where the "Food Pyramid" comes in, and new final guidelines will be released towards the end of 2010.)

Here are the 8 New Food Rules that the Advisory Committee has proposed:

1. Eat Less Calories. (Can' t help but add a 'duh' here. sorry.)

2. Eat More Food From Plants.  Add more vegetables, cooked dry beans and peas, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds to your daily diet.

                                                                   
3. Eat More Fish.  Increase your intake of those heart healthy omega-3 fats! The previously recommendation was two servings per week, but now the experts say to try and eat more. In 2005 the recommendation to eat more fish was made only to those with heart disease to reduce their risk of mortality.

4. Switch to low-fat dairy. While limiting our intake of saturated fat is important, excluding dairy is not the answer either.  Including dairy in your diet is a great way to get calcium—a bone-strengthening mineral that most of us don’t get enough of.  But replace the full-fat dairy products with low-fat dairy. An extra bonus:  new research suggests that replacing full-fat dairy with low-fat dairy may also help lower blood pressure.

5. Eat Only Moderate Amounts of Lean Meats, Eggs and Poultry. Notice the change here? No longer does the recommendation say to choose lean meats and poultry for your diet. Now the word from the study is to actually eat less  meat, lean or otherwise, as well as eating fewer eggs and poultry.

6. Reduce Intake of Added Sugar and Solid Fats. (ack.)

7. Reduce Sodium and Refined Grains.

8. Exercise. The advisory report suggests, strongly, that we follow the  current Physical Activity Guidelines for adults, which happens to be  2 1/2 hours a week of moderate-intensity or 1 1/4 hours (75 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity or an equivalent combination.  These guidelines also recommend muscle-strengthening exercises that are moderate or high intensity, and involve all major muscle groups, 2 or more days a week.

To learn more about the 8 New Food Rules you can read more here.

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