- Sumner Brooks, MPH, RD, CSSD
- Technically speaking, I'm a dietitian, but I see myself as a listener, a motivator, coach and teacher of nutrition. I prefer to end a busy day with a glass of red wine while chopping vegetables. Lover of almost anything pickled and fresh baked scones just not at the same time. I'm happiest when I'm cooking for people I love. Why am I so into food? Because I KNOW how much eating well can change your life. What you eat every day is going to impact your body and your mind. It's a confusing world out there - full of diet and food advice that always leaves you feeling like it's that one next diet that's going to be the weight loss answer. Stop waiting for that magic diet, and begin to take one step at a time in the right direction. I'm here to help you on your life-long journey, there's no better time to start!
Monday, January 31, 2011
Clear or Confusing? The New 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans
This morning the new 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans was released. Before reading it, I was quietly hoping that this time there would be new strategies to educate America on eating right. My fingers were crossed for key messages that clearly communicated: eat at least 25 grams of fiber, slow down when eating, move your body and find activities you enjoy, consume more plants and less meat, replace red meat with fish at least two times a week, and drink fewer sodas. The new guidelines focus a lot on calorie balance, but my biggest question is how people can be expected to know how many calories is right for them? Also - if you're a seasoned "Not On A Diet" reader, you hopefully realize by now, that the quality and contents of your foods can make a bigger mark on your health than just counting calories. I wish the USDA 2010 guidelines would more clearly help Americans focus on eating whole foods from the ground. If a person starts focusing just on calorie balance, they might think the 100 calorie pack of Oreo's out of the vending machine is a perfect snack to cut calories, when in truth that will just make a person hungrier and want to eat more. For suggestions and guidance on what you can do to eat well and feed your family right - please find a local Registered Dietitian in your zip code by going to www.eatright.org and search for a professional. An RD will help translate the new 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines in a way that makes sense for you.
It's hard to tell by reading the new guidelines what is better: A 100-calorie pack of cookies? or a 200 calorie snack made with whole grains and nuts? I think you know the answer, but not everyone might. That's my concern.
Here are the 2010 Guidelines for you to download and read yourself. For the Summary and Key Messages - click on the Executive Summary, third bullet down on the top left side. (Even that was hard to find!)