How Are We to Interpret the New Dietary Guidelines for Americans?
The United States government recently issued its Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This happens every five years so we are now going to have these guidelines in place until 2025.
Unfortunately, as you will see, these guidelines are profoundly insufficient as they relate to nutrition. They are administered to all Americans and become the backbone of nutrition for schools and the military and the general population of our country. In fact, the diet that is recommended is designed only for healthy people, and ultimately that represents only about 12% of our population. This is a one-size-fits-all diet that does not reflect the diversity of our country in terms of race, culture, and importantly, variations in metabolic health.
The diet recommends greater than 50% of calories coming from carbohydrates and includes three servings of refined grains per day and up to 10% of calories coming from pure sugar. And all this despite the fact that an expert committee provided incredibly robust science, accumulated over the past decade, showcasing the profoundly detrimental health effects of the very diet that was approved.
Today we will spend time with Nina Teicholz as we explore and deconstruct these new guidelines. We’ve had her on the program before, and let me tell you a little bit more about her.
Nina Teicholz, a science journalist, is author of the New York Times bestseller, The Big Fat Surprise, which upended the conventional wisdom on dietary fat–especially saturated fat—and spurred a new conversation about whether these fats in fact cause heart disease. Named a *Best Book* of the year by the Economist, Wall Street Journal and Mother Jones, among others, it continues to be called a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the amazing story of how we came to believe fat is bad for health—and what a better diet might look like. Nina is also the founder of the Nutrition Coalition, a non-profit working to ensure that government nutrition policy is transparent and evidence-based—work for which she’s been asked to testify before the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Canadian Senate. Teicholz is a graduate of Stanford and Oxford Universities and previously served as associate director of the Center for Globalization and Sustainable Development at Columbia University.
I am hopeful that each of you will continue to explore what makes for good nutrition, especially as it relates to your individual needs.