DGA Day: Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Every five years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) release the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) — a set of recommendations based on up-to-date nutrition science that is intended to help the U.S. population make healthy food and beverage choices.
On January 7, 2016, the government released the 2015-2020 DGA. Overall, the new DGA recommends a dietary pattern that includes a variety of fruits (especially whole fruits) and vegetables, grains (at least half of which should be whole grains), a variety of proteins, and oils. The DGA also recommends limiting the intake of saturated fats and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium. For the first time, the DGA recommends capping added sugar intake at 10% of one’s daily caloric intake. Despite continued controversy and highly-publicized evidence of carcinogenicity, the DGA does not recommend a specific limit on the consumption of red meat or processed meat.
Many expect the current guidelines to be controversial, as they contain recommendations that some view as outdated (such as the continued recommendation of low- and non-fat dairy products) and they omit recommendations that others believe are warranted (such as an express limit on red or processed meat or recommendations that take sustainability into account).