Every five years the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture release their revised Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The most recent ones came out today. With obesity reaching epidemic proportions in this country, these recommendations are meant to help Americans make healthier nutrition choices.
Their findings indicated that poor diets and lack of physical activity are causing increased risk of chronic disease, particularly those that arise from obesity-related causes. Well, duh!
I am right on board with recommending improving diet and increasing physical activity. In fact, I totally agree with several of the recommendations for improving diet, specifically:
Increasing fruit and vegetable intake, practicing portion control, avoiding trans fats, replacing sodas and high sugar drinks with water and limiting refined grains. I’m all on board with all of that. I believe fresh vegetables and fruits (in moderation) as well as clean protein, whole grains, again in moderation, and adequate water should form the backbone of every diet. It is the foundation of my 3D Living Program.
One of the key recommendations was to reduce sodium intake. Personally, I believe that by avoiding processed, packaged foods, and focusing on fresh, nutrient-dense, whole foods, we can accomplish this effortlessly since it not only reduces sodium intake but increases potassium. I would further clarify this by advising that processed, white table salt be replaced with a natural, unprocessed sea salt. Table salt is sodium chloride and raises blood pressure and is a factor in diabetes and kidney disease.
Natural, unprocessed sea salt contains 80+ minerals in the same ratio as our blood, and has not been shown to increase blood pressure, unless a person has a specific sensitivity to salt and that is very rare from all the research I’ve read.
The other clarification I would suggest is that while avoiding trans fats and hydrogenated oils is very important for health, including healthy fats in your daily diet is key. Saturated fats have gotten a bad rap – undeservedly so! Fats like organic butter and virgin coconut oil are excellent for health. Extra virgin and regular olive oil, macadamia nut, pumpkin seed, sesame seed, flax and hemp seed oils are all extremely healthy oils to use in your meals. Some can be heated and used for cooking and some must be used simply as condiments. Of course a supplement of fish oil – high quality cod liver or krill oil are also a great addition. Fat free is highly unhealthy. That being said – of course, all fat should be used in moderation.
Finally, the focus on lowering caloric intake by controlling portion sizes and getting daily physical activity are basics we should all incorporate. If you need a healthy diet plan – whether you need to lose weight or not, check out Today’s the Day. It effortlessly incorporates all these recommendations and more!