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dietary guidelines

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The Sour Side of the Sugar Industry

Excessive sugar intake should not have been downplayed.

In an analysis of archived correspondence between the Sugar Research Foundation (today the Sugar Association) and several prominent Harvard nutrition researchers in the mid-1960s, it has been revealed that secret support was given in an attempt to shift the blame from sugar to fat as the culprit behind coronary heart disease. Not all the dots have been connected, but this gives insight into the food industry's attempts to influence food guidelines.

PositiveTip: Don't look for just one dietary demon! Choose a balanced diet based mostly on whole plant foods for good health.

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Change is Blowing in the Wind for Dietary Guidelines

Dietary cholesterol may not be a nutrient of concern anymore.

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (U.S.) is proposing to remove the limits on dietary cholesterol in the 2015 edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This has been a mainstay since the 1960s. Evidence suggests that while serum cholesterol is still a risk factor, dietary cholesterol may not play as important a role as once thought. Read the most recent report of the Advisory Committee yourself.

PositiveTip: It is probably still wise to not overdo on high-fat, high-cholesterol foods!

The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same

In 1997, the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research published Food. Nutrition, and the Prevention of Cancer: a global perspective. It became the “bible” of information for governments and agencies around the world to study and quote in establishing health care policy and writing health care brochures and books. In November, 2007 the Second Report: Food, Nutrition, and Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective was published by the same international group of experts who come from  the Netherlands, the UK, India, China, Nigeria, Chile as well as the US.

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U.S. Government Replaces the Dietary Pyramid with a New Icon

New, simple dietary icon replaces the old pyramid in the U.S.

Last week U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack unveiled a new dietary guideline icon called MyPlate. This replaces the MyPyramid which many complained was too complicated to follow. This simple, uncomplicated symbol is designed to help people think about their food choices in order to lead a healthier life.

PositiveTip: How is your plate loaded? Is it half-full of vegetables and fruit, plenty of whole grains, and adequate lean protein with some low-fat dairy or dairy substitute?

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New American Dietary Guidelines Released

Diet guidelines for Americans tweaked for first time in 5 years.

The newest revision of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 has now been released with no big changes. There are some tweaks such as more suggestions on healthy foods rather than the unhealthy ones. Added sugar now gets separate emphasis. The basic numeric targets are the same for the major nutrients. The most controversial change came in the recommendation of only 1500 mg of sodium per day for those at risk of hypertension. The average American consumes more than twice that! 

PositiveTip: There is a lot of valuable advice and guidelines in this document. How do your habits compare to the recommendations?

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The 2010 Dietary Guidelines Are Here

New Dietary Guidelines recommend a shift to a plant-based diet.


The Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 is now released. After reviewing the scientific data, four major findings were issued:

  1. Obesity and overweight in the population demands a reduction in calories.
  2. Shift to a plant-based diet emphasizing vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
  3. Significant reductions in refined sugars, fats, and refined grains are essential.
  4. Most Americans need to get up and get moving everyday with physical activity.

PositiveTip: If you are like most, you could benefit from implementing one or all of these practical guidelines into your lifestyle.