Along with the new year, Americans got a list of our government’s new dietary guidelines (which happens every five years). It’s a long read, but fortunately, it is a document that’s geared more toward the professionals who advise us about our diets and develop food policies and programs, so we’re not expected to wade through it all. And there is a summary that gets to the gist of things pretty quickly: eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, protein and oils while limiting saturated and trans fats, added sugar and sodium. And move around more than you do now (the government also issues physical activity guidelines).
I don’t think there is any breaking news there. The articulated limit on sugar is new, but we’ve all known we should be easing back on that already. The guidelines also remind us that we should be careful when it comes to our consumption of sodium and certain kinds of fats. Again, this is not something that we didn’t already know. So then why are we still struggling with these perennial dietary problems?