Feb 07 2011

Dietary Guidelines for Americans and What We Really Eat

Published by at 10:40 pm under Uncategorized

US Dietary Guidelines

The most recent version of the US Dietary Guidelines were released just last week, the guidelines are revised every five years and this is the seventh edition. They are intended to be used to develop educational materials, serve as the basis for Federal nutrition assistance programs, and they can be used by nutrition educators, health professionals and the general public to guide food choices. The entire report can be found at  http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/dietaryguidelines.htm

On page 11 of the report is an assessment of our current dietary intake based on national survey data. A table is included of the top sources of calories among Americans over age two. Here are the top Ten sources of calories:

  1. Grain-based desserts ( cake, cookies, pie etc.)
  2. Yeast breads ( bread, rolls and bagels)
  3. Chicken ( fried, baked casseroles, sandwiches and salads)
  4. Soda, energy drinks, sports drinks, sweetened bottled waters
  5. Pizza
  6. Alcohol ( for adults)
  7. Pasta ( macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, lasagna, ravioli, noodles)
  8. Tortillas, ( burritos, nachos, quesadillas)
  9. Beef (steak, meatloaf, beef with noodles, beef stew)

10.  Dairy desserts(ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet, milk shakes, pudding)

Fruits and vegetables do not show up at all on this list of the top sources of calories, in part because fruits and vegetables are the food group containing the least amount of calories, but the real reason they do not make the list is Americans are simply  not eating the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables. If fruits and vegetables started to replace the foods listed in the top ten above, it could help all of us to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

We can do better, start at your next meal by filling half your plate with vegetables. It really is as easy as that.

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