What a difference five years can make! The committee that shapes federal nutrition guidelines recently released its new, proposed recommendations, and they veered dramatically from the 2010 report in some very positive ways. “The recent iteration of dietary guidelines represents a marked improvement over prior sets,” says Cleveland Clinic’s Roxanne B. Sukol, MD. “It’s not perfect, but it’s better.” A few highlights:
- Down with added sugar: We applaud the committee’s advice to dramatically limit added sugar (no more than 10 percent of your daily diet); this bad boy is strongly linked to obesity and chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.
- A 180 on eggs: The committee freed them from a decades-long nutritional “time-out,” based on evidence that dietary cholesterol does not, in fact, affect blood cholesterol levels for most people. However, Cleveland Clinic Chief Wellness Officer, Michael Roizen, MD, cautions against eating the yolks. "If you enjoy egg whites, that’s fine; just avoid the yolks for now.”
- Plants get even more praise: Three cheers for the emphasis on eating a plant-based diet, with more vegetables, fruit, beans and 100 percent whole grains. While the committee did mention legumes, we think these near-perfect foods (beans, lentils, peas and peanuts) are so important that they could consider them a symbol for better nutrition. “They really deserve a category all their own,” says Dr. Sukol.
"One yolk contains enough lecithin and choline to change the bacteria in your gut so that they produce inflammatory proteins which is a bad thing." Michael Roizen, M.D.