Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Why Is the Federal Government Afraid of Fat? [Reblog]

Why Is the Federal Government Afraid of Fat?
rom a July 2015 post at Medication Health News

The New York ID-100303054Times has recently shared an interesting piece with their readers. Since 1980’s Dietary Guidelines and Federal food policies recommended limiting dietary fat in the American diet to less than 30% of a daily caloric intake. This recommendation has remained active since and is still used in the Nutrition Facts panel on all packaged foods. A number of recent studies of low-fat diets revealed no significant benefits in major cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer risk and weight gain. In fact, the only research that suggested a reduction in these conditions related to a Mediterranean-style diet with a higher 40% of total fat intake. Additionally, a harmful increase in the consumption of refined carbohydrates has occurred over the past several decades. For the first time the advisory committee for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines omitted the upper limit on total fat, focusing the recommendation on promoting healthy food consumption and improving the food quality rather than concentrating on the total fat content. In your opinion, is an average American ready to abandon the low-fat trend?

For additional information please read The NewYork times

Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles]/

July 20, 2015 Posted by | Nutrition | , , | Leave a comment

Dietary guidelines and the food industry

I’ve commented on this issue in previous blogs…

Weight Maven

pyramidOver at Eathropology, Adele Hite has published part 1 of As the Calories Churn. In it, she gets “down and geeky … with some Dietary Guidelines backstory” since 2000 noting that some involved may have thought that “the advice to Americans to eat more carbohydrate and less fat wasn’t such a good idea.”

Interestingly, an Eathropology commenter notes that earlier efforts on our dietary guidelines had their own back stories too, linking to the story of the 1992 food pyramid. Luise Light, former USDA Director of Dietary Guidance and Nutrition Education Research and responsible for the 1992 food pyramid writes that the actual published guide was “vastly different” from what was drafted (emphasis mine):

When our version of the Food Guide came back to us revised, we were shocked to find that it was vastly different from the one we had developed. As I later discovered, the…

View original post 240 more words

July 14, 2013 Posted by | Nutrition | , , | Leave a comment

Lacto-Ovo and Vegan Information Included in USDA Dietary Guidelines

Three weeks ago my husband and I started using  USDA’s Supertracker in an effort to make changes to our eating and exercise patterns.
Our goal is to reach and maintain a  healthy weight range and reap the benefits of a good exercise program.
More on this in a later blog entry.

A three week report showed I was deficient in several nutrients. I went to the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines to look up foods that are highest in these nutrients (including potassium and choline).While going through the appendix I came across

  • Appendix 8- Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian Adaption of the USDA Food Patterns (p. 81 of the Guideline)
  • Appendix 9 – Vegan Adaption of the USDA Food Patterns (p. 82 of the Guideline)

The USDA Guidelines state “[t]hese vegetarian variations represent healthy eating patterns, but rely on fortified foods for some nutrients. In the vegan patterns especially, fortified foods provide much of the calcium and vitamin B12, and either fortified foods or supplements should be selected to provide adequate intake of these nutrients. ”

I am the first to admit I am not a nutritionist or expert in vegetarianism. So I would not be surprised if folks knowledgable in these areas would take issue with the USDA approach on fortified foods and/or the information in the appendix.
Still, this is giving me pause to at least consider  vegan “substitutes” for some meat and dairy.
And it is heartening that the USDA is starting to be a bit more inclusive in the guidelines, no matter what the intentions are.

On a related note, Planning Has Begun for the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015.
According to the USDA announcement

The Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture are pleased to announce their intent to establish the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) and to invite nominations for the DGAC. Nominations will be accepted until 6:00 pm EST, on Monday, November 26, 2012 to or via fax or postal mail as described in the Federal Register notice.

The DGAC is expected to convene five meetings, with the intent of the first in April 2013. The Committee’s recommendations and rationale will serve as a basis for the eighth edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. To learn more and submit nominations, see the Federal Register notice.

Related Article

Is a Vegetarian Diet the Future of Food? by  on October 18, 2012
The evidence points to environmental costs and the effects of factory farming.

November 14, 2012 Posted by | Nutrition | , , , , | 1 Comment


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