In case you haven’t heard, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released this January.  For those that do not understand what the Dietary Guidelines for Americans are or their implications, let me break it down. The Dietary Guidelines is the go-to source for nutritional recommendations.  These recommendations aim to promote health, prevent chronic disease and help people reach/maintain a healthy weight .  For this to occur, the Dietary Guidelines are reviewed and updated every 5 years.  A Dietary Guidelines committee begins the review process by thoroughly analyzing nutrition research to provide food and beverages guidelines for American’s ages 2 and older. Once it has been approved, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) publish the report.  From here, federal, state and local nutrition policies, such as the school breakfast and lunch program, are created.


Here are some of changes that have been implemented in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines.

  • Americans should limit consumption of:
    • Added sugars to less than 10% of daily energy intake
    • Saturated fats to less than 10% of daily energy intake
    • Sodium to less than 2300 mg/day


  • Other Changes
    • No limit on dietary cholesterol
    • Solid fat is now called saturated fat
    • Moderate coffee consumption (up to 400 mg/day caffeine)
    • Focus on meal patterns rather than individual food groups


  • Meal Patterns
    • US Style
      • Based on the types and proportions of foods typically Americans consume
      • Follows the MyPlate (
    • Vegetarian
      • Reflect eating patterns of self-identified vegetarians
      • Soy products, legumes, nuts and seeds and whole grain amounts were increased since meat, poultry and seafood are eliminated
    • Mediterranean
      • Contains more fruits and seafood and less dairy


  • Recommendations for consumption
    • Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish/seafood, legumes and nuts
    • 3 servings of dairy products (low and non-fat dairy)
    • Lower in red and processed meat
    • Lower in sugar-sweetened foods, beverages and refined grains

In other words, take the time to investigate and learn about documents that not only play a role in your life but also your kids lives.  Also, take the time learn about your own personal eating pattern and turn that eating pattern into a healthy one!