2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Released; The Positives and Negatives

image Credit: pcrm.org

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans is a document produced every 5 years It is a federal policy on the role of dietary factors, health promotion, and disease prevention. It is used by schools, the food industry, and many others. It is written by a committee of scientists to review scientific evidence related to diet and create a scientific.

The latest edition was released in December 2020 and it’s the first to include recommendations for the entire life-span, from birth through older adulthood.

The latest Dietary Guidelines endorses “a healthy vegetarian dietary pattern” as one of three dietary patterns that can “be tailored to meet cultural and personal preferences.” There are guidelines plan for ages 1 year and older. The text guidelines remind vegetarians and others that eat a few animal products to consider the use of a vitamin B12 supplement. The Guidelines encourage all Americans to eat more plant foods including dried beans, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. These are all positive features.

This edition of the Dietary Guidelines has been criticized for not addressing sustainability or greenhouse gas emissions; both of these issues affecting human health and connected to food production and dietary choices. Additionally, they recommend to reduce added sugar consumption and limit daily alcohol consumption to one drink per day for men and women. Added sugar is capped at 10% of calories as it was in the earlier edition and daily alcohol consumption limits are still two drinks a day for men and one for women. 

Another issue with the latest Dietary Guidelines is that they still promote a “Dairy Group”. All of the Vegetarian Dietary Patterns call for use of eggs with no suggestions for vegan foods that could replace eggs. 

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