The 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines will be published soon…

The U.S. dietary guidelines, updated every five years, will be updated this year (current guidelines here).  Via Washington Post’s Wonk Blog.

But the Dietary Guidelines, due to be updated later this year, have come under increasingly heavy scrutiny in recent months because of doubts about their scientific underpinnings. The government’s long-standing guidance about nutritional basics such as fat, salt and cholesterol have been undermined by recent research. Members of the public filed 29,000 comments on the report filed in February by the advisory panel advising the government on the development of the guidelines.

I’m inclined to agree with this statement with respect to dietary cholesterol (although it does affect blood cholesterol levels in some people).   With respect to saturated fats, the research isn’t conclusive and mainstream health organizations like the American Heart Association that associate saturated fat consumption with increased risk of cardiovascular disease maintain that position.  It wouldn’t surprise me if the government’s guidance on saturated fats remains unchanged.

I’ll write something about the new guidelines after they’re published.

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16 thoughts on “The 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines will be published soon…

  1. A doc with a blog i follow posted this para from the exec summary. Extremely non-controversial. I tend to think reports like this get reported poorly. Big recommendations tend to change slowly which i probably fine but we need to keep ourselves current if we want to know what is going on. 29000 comments on the report means nothing to me, i’m sure a few thousand were people complaining they didn’t say sugar,meat, gmo’s, gluten or ketchup wasn’t the essence of evil. ( ketchup of course is the correct answer). For things like dietary fat or cholesterol or salt they likely matter for some people but the general public may be able to chill. The advice is getting more precise.

    “The overall body of evidence examined by the 2015 DGAC identifies that a healthy dietary pattern is higher in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy, seafood, legumes, and nuts; moderate in alcohol (among adults); lower in red and processed meats; and low in sugar-sweetened foods and drinks and refined grains. Additional strong evidence shows that it is not necessary to eliminate food groups or conform to a single dietary pattern to achieve healthy dietary patterns. Rather, individuals can combine foods in a variety of flexible ways to achieve healthy dietary patterns, and these strategies should be tailored to meet the individual’s health needs, dietary preferences and cultural traditions. Current research also strongly demonstrates that regular physical activity promotes health and reduces chronic disease risk.”

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    • The advice is getting more precise.

      I have to remember this the next time I start screaming at my monitor when I read the macro guidelines in the 2010 report and saw a recommendation of between 45% and 65% for the intake of carbohydrates.

      Being 5’5″ and getting back down to 170, I’m an endomorph, and even as an active endomorph, I would never approach that level of intake (20% tops works just fine for me). However, others can get away with that with little trouble.

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      • Screaming at your monitor is bad for health, well most people at least.

        I have to admit, while i pay attention to my diet i dont’ track macro intake or %’s. I don’t find that helpful or useful for myself. 2010, that was the stone ages in any case.

        From what i’ve read about salt and dietary fat, they are finding that for most people they aren’t concerns. But if you have HBP or heart disease they can lead to more problems. So some people with specific health issues should watch their intake but if you don’t have them, you should be fine but probably shouldn’t’ go hog wild.

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  2. Dave,
    They’re having some REAL fun explaining that saturated fat quandary. Last I checked, someone had pulled a bit of a smoking gun out of gut biota (if you eat too much red meat, you feed organisms in there whose byproducts are unhealthy for your heart.) Upshot: eating red meat is fine, just don’t do it every day.

    [Insert standard disclaimers about me not reading the pubmed article, just the popsci.]

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    • They’re having some REAL fun explaining that saturated fat quandary.

      What’s even more fun is watching the zealots from the vegan and Paleo camps duking it out over this…at least for the two minutes it takes before both sides annoy me.

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    • How we turn food into energy is freakin’ complicated. It’s like a Russian nesting doll of complexity, with each layer we uncover finding another layer of “But wait!” underneath.

      I’ve watched doctors slowly realize that ‘eat less and exercise’ doesn’t really work that well for lots of people (technically it works for everyone, given sufficient time and health to exercise as much as needed AND sufficient willpower to eat as little as needed, no matter how much your body screams. Most people are not wealthy and retired and possessing of superhuman willpower. One cannot hold down a job and exercise several hours a day AND manage on a heavily calorie restricted diet)., so they recommend surgical procedures. Only to, of late, find out the outcomes of THAT seem heavily dependent on gut bacteria.

      It’s like our bodies want to be really, really, really energy efficient and store as much as possible because they’re worried we might run out of food down the line. And also we’re sort of evolved for moving around constantly, rather than driving or working while sitting down.

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