2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Every 5 years there are new Dietary Guidelines that released from the U.S Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and of Agriculture (USDA). The last set of guidelines were released in 2010 and so this year it was time for the update. The guidelines are designed for health professionals to help individuals consume a healthy and nutritionally adequate diet. Previous editions of the dietary guidelines focused on individual dietary components - such as food groups and nutrients. With these new guidelines, released yesterday, the focus is now on combination foods and the total diet forms one's overall eating pattern, because people do not eat just food groups and nutrients separately. This was a big change and took the guidelines in a slightly more general direction. 

So let's get to it .... listed below are the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans: (for more information check out health.gov)

  1. Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan. All food and beverage choices matter. Choose a healthy eating pattern at an appropriate calorie level to help achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, support nutrient adequacy and reduce the risk of chronic disease. 
  2. Focus on variety, nutrient density and amount. To meet nutrient needs within calorie limits, choose a variety of nutrient-dense foods across and within all food groups in recommended amounts. 
  3. Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake. Consume an eating pattern low in added sugars, saturated fats and sodium. Cut back on foods and beverages higher in these components to amounts that fit within healthy eating patterns. 
  4. Shift to healthier food and beverage choices. Choose nutrient-dense foods and beverages across and within all food groups in place of less healthy choices. Consider cultural and personal preferences to make these shifts easier to accomplish and maintain. 
  5. Support healthy eating patterns for all. Everyone has a role in helping to create and support healthy eating patterns in multiple settings nationwide, from home to school to work to communities.  

One new thing that was added to the guidelines in this release was a specific number given for recommended amount of added sugar. The goal is to keep added sugar consumption to <10% of your total daily calorie intake. In the 2010 edition recommendations were given to limit your consumption of added sugar, but no hard and fast value was given. 

As you can read these guidelines are broad and are applicable to all people. For a more personalized interruption of these guidelines, speaking with a health professional or a Registered Dietitian would be helpful!