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New Dietary Guidelines Released

Jan 11, 2021

By Joanne Rinker MS, RDN, CDCES, LDN, FADCES, ADCES Director of Practice and Content Development

The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans have been released! 

The first edition of the guidelines were released in 1980, then in 1990 the National Nutrition Monitoring and Research Act made them mandatory every 5 years as a collaborative effort between USDA and HHS. 

The guidelines are designed specifically for advocacy purposes and serve as the evidence used to create content for federal nutrition education materials. For nutrition experts, they can be used to help individuals achieve optimal health. However, the guidelines are not meant to serve as clinical guidance for treatment of chronic diseases. Instead, healthcare professionals must adapt the recommendations based on individual risks and diagnosis.

The evidence is clear that a healthy eating pattern can help maintain good health and reduce risks of chronic diseases throughout the lifespan. They classify all stages of life as infancy and toddlerhood, childhood and adolescents, adulthood, pregnancy and lactation and older adulthood. The components of a healthy eating pattern is consistent across these stages. 

Other key points:

  1. Nutrition related chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers are prevalent in the American population and a major public health issue.
  2. More than 50% of adults have one or more nutrition related chronic disease. 
  3. The 2020-2025 guidelines are meant for just about anyone, no matter their status, because of the benefit to shifting food and beverage choices.
  4. There is a strong emphasis on healthy eating patterns as a whole rather than on individual nutrients, foods or food groups in isolation.
  5. There is a strong emphasis on healthy eating patterns at every life stage (stages listed above). For the first time since 1985 there are recommendations for infants and toddlers.
  6. The guidelines provide a framework that can be individualized based on preferences, cultures, race, age, ethnicity, etc. It is not meant to be rigid and prescriptive.
  7. There is a focus on choosing a healthy eating pattern with all food groups and with a focus on caloric limits based on goals.
  8. Added sugars, saturated fats and sodium should be limited to little to none and foods and beverages should be nutrient dense. Definition of nutrient dense: food or beverage which provides vitamins, minerals and other health-promoting components and have little added sugars, saturated fat and sodium. Veggies, fruit, whole grains, seafood, eggs, beans, peas and lentils, unsalted nuts and seeds, fat-free and low-fat dairy products and lean meats and poultry-when prepared with little added sugars, saturated fat and sodium-are nutrient dense foods.

Some specifics:

  1. Sugar
    • Infants and toddlers should have no added sugars in food or beverages prior to age 2.
    • Less than 10% of calories per day starting at age 2.
  2. Saturated fats
    • Less than 10% of calories per day starting at age 2.
  3. Sodium
    • Less than 2,300mg per day and even less for children younger than 14.
  4. Alcoholic beverages
    • Choose not to drink or drink in moderation.
      1. Men: 2 drinks or less per day.
      2. Women: 1 drink or less per day.
      3. Drinking less is better for health than drinking more.

If you want to learn more about your own habits or encourage your clients to learn more, download the StartSimple with myplate app here:https://www.choosemyplate.gov/start-simple-myplate. This will allow the user to take a short quiz which will individualize goals and create messaging based on that person’s profile. 

To learn more about the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, you can view the full report here. For additional free resources on healthy eating from ADCES, visit DiabetesEducator.org/HealthyEating.

 


ADCES Perspectives on Diabetes Care

The Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists Perspectives on Diabetes Care covers diabetes, prediabetes and other cardiometabolic conditions. Not all views expressed reflect the official position of the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists.

Copyright is owned or held by the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists and all rights are reserved. Permission is granted, at no cost and without need for further request, to link to, quote, excerpt or reprint from these stories in any medium as long as no text is altered, and proper attribution is made to the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists.

HEALTHCARE DISCLAIMER: This site and its services do not constitute the practice of medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always talk to your diabetes care and education specialist or healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment, including your specific medical needs. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem or condition, please contact a qualified health care professional immediately. To find a diabetes care and education specialist near you, visit DiabetesEducator.org/Find.

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