How You Can Use The 2010 Dietary Guidelines To Improve Your Health

Posted Thu, 02/03/2011 - 5:57pm by Denise Reynolds

Filed Under:

Every five years, the federal government releases a report called the "Dietary Guidelines for Americans." This evidenced-based nutrition guide is aimed at encouraging the American people to make healthful choices to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, particularly those due to or related to being overweight or obese. For 2010, the changes in the Guidelines may seem subtle, but unfortunately, many of us fall short of actually implementing them into our daily lives.

Overall, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans focus on balancing calories with physical activity, and they encourage us to eat more healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lower fat dairy products and seafood. Those ingredients to avoid should seem familiar. They include sodium, saturated fat, trans fat, added sugars, and refined grains.

"The 2010 Dietary Guidelines are being released at a time when the majority of adults and one in three children is overweight or obese and this is a crisis we can no longer ignore," says US Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Katheleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, adds,

"The new Dietary Guidelines provides concrete action steps to help people live healthier, more physically active, and longer lives."

The 'meat' of the guidelines (forgive the pun) are the 23 Key Recommendations for the general population (plus six additional tips for those in specific groups) which are the most important messages in terms of their implications for improving health. Many of these will be released in more detail over the next few months, according to the release by the USDA Office of Communications, but following are some of the highlights and how you can use those to make changes for yourself and your family.

Sodium intake should not exceed 2300 milligrams a day for the majority of Americans.

Go pour yourself a teaspoon of salt — a real teaspoon, not a soup spoon or a coffee spoon from your utensil drawer. This represents the total amount of salt you should consume in an entire day. It's not a lot. The average American consumes 3,400 milligrams, or just about 70% more than what is recommended.

Salt should be even more restricted in certain people, such as those over 51; those who suffer from diabetes, hypertension or chronic kidney disease; and those at high risk for these conditions, such as African Americans. For these people, an even more limited level of 1,500 milligrams is recommended.

Where does it all come from? While there may be some people who heavily salt their foods while they cook or at the dinner table, the majority of our sodium intake comes from processed foods and fast foods. Salt is added to many foods not only for flavor, but also as a preservative to extend shelf life.

To reduce your sodium intake, try some of the following techniques:

  • Avoid salting foods while cooking, but if you must, salt only a little and at the end of the cooking process so that it remains on the outside of the food. This will give you the desired taste with less sodium intake.
  • Try using herbs and spices when cooking instead of salt to add flavor to foods.
  • Keep the salt shaker off the table or try a salt substitute that replaces some of the sodium with potassium.
  • Buy and prepare fresh or frozen vegetables and other dishes as much as possible and avoid canned and boxed foods. Eat fresh meats instead of processed bologna, hot dogs, and sausage.
  • Stay away from fast food restaurants, and when eating out at a sit-down restaurant, ask that your food be prepared without salt.

Lower your intake of trans fatty acids, saturated fats, and cholesterol.

I've lumped three key recommendations together because these ingredients combined greatly increase the risk of heart disease.

We know that unsaturated fats such as canola oil and olive oil are better for our hearts than saturated fats that come from animal meats, palm oil, and whole fat dairy foods. The Dietary Guidelines asks that Americans lower saturated fat consumption to 10% of total calories. While the saturated fat content of most foods is listed on the nutrition facts label, it isn't always clear if you are meeting your goal.

To find how much saturated fat is right for you, take the total amount of calories you should eat in a day (the government averages this to 2000 calories a day for most American adults, but each individual need is different.) Fat grams contain 9 calories per gram, so a person eating 2000 calories should consume no more than 200 of these from saturated fat sources. This translates into less than 22 grams from saturated fat.

By the way, the American Heart Association actually states that 10% is probably too high, and recommends no more than 7% of calories from saturated fat. But if you are trying to make changes to your diet, take it one step at a time.

Trans fats are those fatty acids that start out as liquid unsaturated fats, but then undergo a chemical process that changes them to be more solid. On the label, you know they exist by reading the phrase "partially hydrogenated oils." Soon, trans fats will be more clearly labeled, but until then, just avoid foods that contain this ingredient. Actually, you are already doing this to avoid products filled with sodium, so by limiting processed foods you are doing your body twice as much good.

Cholesterol only comes from animal products, so if you lower your consumption of animal foods, you will also lower your cholesterol. If you choose to eat meat, make it a side dish instead of the main course and fill your plate with whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables instead.

Eat the foods you like, but less of them.

This is the 2010 Dietary Guidelines overarching message. Most of the foods we enjoy so much are OK in moderation, but when we eat too much, that is where the problems start. Reduce portion sizes so you are back within normal. (Remember that most portions are about the size of your hand, not the size of a dinner plate.) If you are a soda drinker, replace at least half of that with water to lower sugar intake. Consume alcohol in moderation. Reduce the amount of refined grains you eat.

All of these little steps add up over the course of time and you can make changes without feeling deprived of your favorites.

This post was included in the Athletic Alley Blog Carnival, #49.



<body> <p>In recent years,

Submitted by Seiko watch on Thu, 04/26/2012 - 9:35pm.

<p>In recent years, the golf ball movement grew in  popularity, is no longer high society or the family special sports. Golf is  more younger, also become popular leisure sports.</a><a href=""><strong>Seiko watch</strong> </a>launch  designed for holiday leisure sports design waves table, using Seiko patent  technology white titanium metal case with an exclusive development surface  hardening process, make metal colour and lustre and lightsome texture. <a href=""><strong>seiko watches</strong> </a>have wear  resistance, even long wear also can maintain the original luster.</p>
<p>See a man ever taste, don't see his appearance, not  watching his height and his wallet,also don't see his degree, as long as see what  he wear, necks, surrounded on the waistband's three points feeling. And the  most point is what the price of the Wrist Wear<a href=""><strong>seiko uk</strong> </a> Watches.</p>
<p>Want to know the man what wear, except beyond the simple  wedding ring, the only decorations are<strong> </strong><a href=""><strong>seiko kinetic watch</strong> </a>. The most  vexed is man took gold jewelry, and as long as Cultured person in the neck wear a boss type  yellow thick neck chain, on your finger sparkling glistening gold ring. That  will discount yourself of that image, became a vulgar people. But exception a  watch, the golden yellow watch no matter how to say that all of the same style  than gold bracelet have grade. Visible, <a href=""><strong>Seiko watches for men</strong> </a><strong> </strong>this thing in a man  really have decayed for magical attunements of magic power. So, when a boudoir  friend to ask me what gift give their most dear man, I'll be solemnly use  &quot;watch&quot; two sonorous powerful words to express my opinion.</p>
<p>I really can't  remember what better than<a href=""><strong>seiko 5</strong> </a>watches more suitable for a man and women, he  will not let his woman waiting, punctual man must need a good watches,and no  man will take an alarm clock to slip away to reach everywhere. Urge oneself of  man fast growth for a good man, sent him watch is better. Of course,  you still can choose<a href=""><strong>ladies seiko watches</strong> </a>,<a href=""><strong>seiko kinetic </strong> </a> Watches,<a href=""><strong>seiko watches  uk</strong> </a> , <a href=""><strong>chronograph Seiko</strong> </a>watches,<strong>&nbsp;</strong><a href=""><strong>seiko  automatic </strong> </a>watches and so on.</p>


There is definately a great

Submitted by Alfred on Sun, 05/24/2015 - 9:54am.

There is definately a great deal to find out about this topic.
I love all the points you have made.


One of the best ways to lose

Submitted by Guest on Thu, 11/05/2015 - 6:18am.

One of the best ways to lose weight is by doing sprints. If you've ever seen short distance runners in the Olympics, you've noticed how lean and shredded they are. Science has proven that high intensity cardio such as sprints, is the most effective way of shedding fat and preserving lean muscle mass. Weight Destroyer Reviews


sunshine summit lodge

Submitted by liza on Thu, 03/21/2013 - 11:21pm.

sunshine summit lodge provides a welcoming therapeutic environment and is the perfect location for conquering drug and alcohol addiction.


Since the admin of this web

Submitted by Stephanie on Sat, 05/23/2015 - 11:53pm.

Since the admin of this web page is working,
no hesitation very soon it will be renowned,
due to its quality contents.


You actually make it seem so

Submitted by Candace on Fri, 06/19/2015 - 11:34pm.

You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation bbut I fnd this matter to be actually something that I think I would never understand.

It seems too complex and extremelyy browd for me.
I'mlooking forward for yojr next post, I'll try to get the
hzng of it!


Sweet blog! I found it while

Submitted by rj palano on Thu, 08/27/2015 - 4:48am.

Sweet blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News.
Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I've been trying for a while
but I never seem to get there! Cheers


Narconon Fresh Start Proven

Submitted by wigerjames on Thu, 08/01/2013 - 1:26am.

Narconon Fresh Start Proven life skill rehabilitation technology along with body physical detoxification procedures accompanied by cognitive therapies really makes oneself abandon drugs forever. Hats off to Narconon Fresh Start! Their remarkable services in making lives of drug addicts better than before can never be forgotten.


This post iss genuinely a

Submitted by Lenore on Fri, 05/29/2015 - 9:38pm.

This post iss genuinely a nice one it assists neew
internet viewers, who are wishing in faavor of blogging.


Now I am ready too do my

Submitted by Jimmy on Tue, 07/07/2015 - 10:10pm.

Now I am ready too do my breakfast, laer than having my breakfast coming over again to read more news.


fantastic post, very

Submitted by Roger on Sun, 06/21/2015 - 2:30am.

fantastic post, very informative. I'm wondering why the other
experts of this secftor do not realize this.

You should proceed your writing. I'm sure, you hasve a great readers' base already!


Wow that was strange. I just

Submitted by Amy on Mon, 07/13/2015 - 2:24am.

Wow that was strange. I just wrote an incredibly long
comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn't show up.

Grrrr... well I'm not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted
to say excelkent blog!


Hi there, constantly i used

Submitted by Marilyn on Wed, 07/15/2015 - 4:37pm.

Hi there, constantly i used to check webpage
posts hre in the early hours in the daylight, since i like to gain knowledge of more and more.


I love it whenn individuals

Submitted by Gwendolyn on Fri, 09/11/2015 - 9:46pm.

I love it whenn individuals come together and sbare ideas.
Great blog, continue the good work!


Improvement of health is

Submitted by Guest on Fri, 02/12/2016 - 1:33pm.

Improvement of health is significant and pivotal. The prime essays writing importance is elevated for all terms and conditions. The chances of the intelligence are elevated for all terms and conditions.


You made some decent points

Submitted by TamFishke on Sun, 01/08/2017 - 8:50pm.

You made some decent points there. I looked on the internet for the issue and found most individuals will go along with with your website. Website Visit Visit Web Read More

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.