News » Citydesk

New USDA Guidelines: Cut Down on Sugar; Red Meat and Eggs Get a Pass


The United States government's latest food guidelines have some good news for people who have cut back on eggs, based on previous cholesterol warnings.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans
is updated about every five years and is traditionally the foundation of public health campaigns. The old guidelines insisted that "not eating breakfast has been associated with excess body weight," but the new version doesn't even address the topic.

Perhaps the most intriguing element of the new guidelines is that government health experts have dropped their previous warnings about dietary cholesterol—earlier guidelines suggested Americans limit their cholesterol intake to 300 milligrams per day. As a result, the previous caution had a dramatic impact on egg sales in the U.S.

Above all, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends most Americans cut their sugar intake by nearly half—approximately 12 teaspoons a day (the average American consumes up to 22 teaspoons of sugar a day). The guidelines also ask Americans to cut sodium intake to no more than 2,300 milligrams per day (the average American consumes approximately 3,440 milligrams of sodium per day, much of it from bread, pizza, soup or cured meats).

NBC News reports the new guidelines say a "healthy eating pattern" usually includes:
  • A variety of vegetables;
  • Whole fruit;
  • Grains, at least half of which are whole grain;
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt and/or cheese;
  • A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meat and poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products, nuts and seeds;
  • Oils from plants: canola, corn, olive, peanut, safflower, soybean, and sunflower oils.