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New US Gov't dietary guidelines

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I know this is probably the least of our concerns, but I just thought folks might be interested in seeing this article and link, and noting that the U.S. gov't dietary guidelines still tell everyone to keep salt intake at less than a teaspoon a day, with no qualifying statement that salt could actually be beneficial for some people and needed in larger amounts. I doubt the same could be said for fat, sugar or alcohol intake!

Gov't Urges Most Americans to Cut Calories

By LIBBY QUAID, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - The government on Wednesday urged most

Americans to eat fewer calories and exercise 30 to 90

minutes a day, updating guidelines that advised people

to lose weight but gave few specifics on how to do it.

The new dietary guidelines will be used to update the

familiar food pyramid, which most people recognize but

few heed. That revision, expected in the next couple

of months, would be the pyramid's first since it was

created 12 years ago. Among the possibilities: the

pyramid could give way to a different shape.

Federal officials acknowledged that much of the advice

will not be new to Americans, who spent millions on

diet books trying to lose weight.

"It's really common sense. Do you want to look better?

Do you want to feel better?" Health and Human Services

(news - web sites) Secretary Tommy Thompson said. "You

lower your calorie intake, you lower your carbs, your

fats. You eat more fruits and vegetables, and you

exercise. That's as simple as it can be. That is not

too hard."

Thompson noted that two in three Americans are

overweight or obese and suggested that the guidelines

are well timed, coming in January, soon after many

have made New Year's resolutions to live healthier


The guidelines, developed by HHS and the Agriculture

Department, strengthen the government's advice on

whole grains, telling people to choose whole grains

such as whole wheat bread instead of refined ones like

white bread or bagels.

People should also eat a lot more vegetables and

fruit, particularly whole fruits and vegetables rather

than juices, the guidelines said. And they recommend

three one-ounce servings of whole grains each day,

such as certain unsweetened breakfast cereals, to

reduce the risk of heart disease and help maintain


Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said the popularity

of diet books and products shows that "Americans are

interested in leading healthier lives, but they want

credible, consistent and coherent information to help

them make the best possible choices."

Thompson added that people should not assume that

researchers at the National Institute of Health are

going to come up with a miracle diet pill.

"Every American is waiting for NIH to come up with

that pill," he said. "It's not going to happen."

The government's advice is not really new, but

officials see the guidelines as an opportunity to

change people's ways.

"It has been a big problem in the past that basically,

the federal government has published a booklet and

then crossed their fingers and hoped that Americans

ate better," said Margo Wootan, nutrition policy

director for the Center for Science in the Public

Interest, a health advocacy group.

"That's clearly not been enough. What we need is

significant investment in programs and changes in

policy and the food environment that help Americans to

eat better and watch their weight," Wootan said.

The guidelines were based on recommendations of a

13-member panel of scientists and doctors who spent

nearly a year reviewing Americans' diet and health.

The committee said people lead sedentary lifestyles

and choose their food poorly, leading many to exceed

the calories they need even as they fail to get enough


Controlling calories ? not limiting carbohydrates, as

some popular diets recommend ? is key to controlling

weight, the panel said.

Also key is daily exercise. The panel recommended a

minimum of at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise ?

brisk walking or gardening ? on most days.

But it said many adults need to exercise for 60

minutes or more to prevent weight gain, and people who

have lost weight may need to exercise for 60 to 90

minutes to keep it off.

The panel said to choose fats and carbohydrates

wisely. That means severely restricting trans fat that

can clog arteries and eating fiber-rich whole fruits

and whole grain breads. People should eat five to 13

servings each day of fruits and vegetables, depending

on their age and level of activity, the panel said.

The committee recommended cups rather than serving

sizes in many instances; by this measure, the average

person would need 4 1/2 cups of fruits and veggies to

maintain his or her weight.

The panel also said people need to reduce the amount

of salt they eat to about one level teaspoon each day,

because salt is linked to high blood pressure. It said

those who drink alcohol should do so in moderation,

about one drink each day for women and two for men.


On the Net:

Dietary Guidelines:


sodium guidelines chapter:


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Guest Julia59

Well I have no problem with the diet part----as long as I still get my chocolate---lol

Fortunately I have very good control---and I need only very little to satisfy me---perhaps a table spoon on choc. chips---dark. Or one piece of DOVE dark or milk chocolate.

As far as salt goes, people who DO NOT have high BP should eat more. It has other benefits other then helping with low BP issues----such as idodine for thyroid--ect.

My problem is that I can't exercise much more then 20 minutes if i'm lucky. I'm getting a stationary bike---so hopefully this will help. Not only am I struggling with POTS, but I am also having a rapid decline in neuro functions due to the chiari----and canial/cervical instabiltiy-----basically in a nut shell, i'm getting weak----the whole body---especially legs.

So now I am watching the refined surgars much more closely. I have always watched fats---and if I do eat it it's always the healthy oil---i.e.----> canola, safflower---and so on.

One key thing to remember is to STAY AWAY FROM HYDROGENATED OIL! It's hidden in everything---even some breads. If you stick to WHOLE GRAIN BREADS, i'm thinking you would be OK. Packaged and frozen foods almost always have hydrogenated oil aka (TRANS FATS)---even good old cambell's soup.

I personally saw a huge surge in obesity in the late 80s early 90s when all the so called low fats diet foods hit the market. These foods were very deceiving and although they did say "low fat" the remaining fat content was trans fats. And people tended to eat more of those so called low fat foods--- which I call JUNK FOOD. If you read the ingrediants in these---it's a mile long. That can't be good. I agree with the basic food pyramid. If you think about it, people were less fat back then. Just look at all the kids who are overweight----it's mind numbing.

Julie :0)

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Guest tearose

Thanks for the information. I wonder when it will change again?

Julie, I had a similar reaction to the exercise recommendations...I laughed and thought just take off the zeros. Although a little more now, 3, 6, or 9 minutes of exercise has been more like it for many stretches of time!

I can't imagine how anyone here could sustain 60-90 minutes of exercise and not have a major backslide!

Excuse me, my oven is beeping...my batch of cookies are done...tearose

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To answer your question, tearose, the guidelines are published every 5 years.

Ernie--same with me! I never added salt to food, rarely ate prepared foods. I always thought it was unhealthy, when for years it might have actually helped reduce my symptoms.

Julia--yes I agree about the transfats--they really should be avoided, yet are in many prepared foods, especially crackers, cookies and breads. And I agree, it is disturbing how many children are overweight now. When I was a child, there were maybe one or two overweight children in any given classroom, now it seems it is almost half the kids.

The new recommendation for 4-5 servings of vegetables and 4-5 of fruits for a 2,000 calorie diet is going to be hard for most Americans to comply with. I am a vegetarian, yet I don't think I eat that many servings on many days.


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Guest Julia59

With all the slow gut motility and bowel broblems I have I could never tolerate all those vegetables and fruits. I love them too! It's just that I can't tolerate most skins on fruits and vegetables. Here's the fruits I tolerate well---pears---bosc with thin skins--peeled apples----oranges as long as the membranes arent to think----and vegatables are tolerated better cooked---but I love them raw too. I get into trouble when I eat them raw.

My belly would be bloated all the time. I try to eat veggies every day---and I never forget my orange juice. V-8 juice is another way to get your veggies and SALT. Any fruit or vege with thick skins or seeds will tear me up. I can tolerate tomatos because the seeds are softer------I can put my thumb nail through it----RULE OF THUMB----no pun intended. I love rasberries and strawberries----but suffer every time I eat them. I would never be able to meet the serving requirement on the new list. I would blow up! :P

Julie :0)

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One place where you can find packaged foods without the bad fats is your local health food co-op (or Whole Foods, Fresh Fields, etc.). If you want crackers, the Wasa brand is good because they're whole grain and are actually fairly good for you. Mi-Del makes whole wheat graham crackers (great if you have kids), and Health Valley makes a graham cracker-like thing that comes in amaranth, oat bran and rice bran. I eat these instead of cookies. Natural forms of peanut butter and almond butter don't have the trans fat that is found in commercial brands like Jif.

Annie's makes mac & cheese that is not too bad in terms of sodium and fat. I also have found boxed veggie burger mix (I think it's Fantastic Foods) and hummus mix that has less sodium and fat than the frozen and prepared versions. I am not on a high-salt diet, so these are helpful to me.

Some of this stuff is not much different in price than in a regular grocery store; you just have to shop around.


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