President Obama’s administration recently released the highly anticipated 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines. The update comes every five years and serves as the official guidelines for what to eat. Whether you’re looking for some guidance on sticking to your healthy New Year’s resolutions or you want some help crafting this week’s healthy dinner menu, these latest ground rules will have you making healthy and tasty decisions. This year’s release is the first update since First Lady Michelle Obama founded the Let’s Move program, aimed at fighting childhood obesity.
According to the guidelines, about three-fourths of the population has an eating pattern that is low in vegetables (hidden veggie recipes, anyone?), fruits, dairy and oils, and most Americans exceed the recommendations for added sugars, saturated fats and sodium.
So where does that leave us? Well, it’s time to say goodbye to your dessert after dinner every day, and hello to new types of protein, like nuts, seeds and seafood. More specifically, the White House is recommending that we consume less than 10 percent of our calories (based on an average 2,000-per-day diet) from added sugar. That means we should consume less than 200 calories of added sugar a day.
In addition, 10 percent of our daily calories should come from saturated fats, typically found in meats and dairy. That could explain why the White House wants to see us turning to more non-meat protein types, like seafood, nuts, legumes, seeds, eggs and soy products. Other shifts include adding more types of fruits and vegetables to our diets (which it seems no one is getting enough of), making at least half of our grains whole grains, choosing low-fat or fat-free dairy options and including physical activity as part of your daily routine.
Some good news: We’re all consuming significantly less caffeine than can be safely incorporated into a healthy diet — 400mg — so your morning (and afternoon) coffee are safe. Phew!
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(Photos via Getty Images and Andrew Burton/Getty)