New Dietary Guidelines Kiss Salt, Sugar, and Saturated Fats Goodbye

Just this week, the federal government released their new dietary guidelines for 2015-2020. The guidelines come out every five years, and they’re designed to give recommendations about what types and amounts of foods make up the ideal healthy American diet. The guidelines are based on tons of research from the best and brightest scientific and medical experts across the country, but that doesn’t mean that everyone agrees with them.

The newest dietary guidelines were released less than 24 hours ago, and already they’ve caused quite a stir. There are a lot of people who are happy with them, and a lot of people who are outraged or upset. More importantly than that, though, there are a lot of people (like ourselves) who are just simply trying to understand them.

So, without any mumbo jumbo scientific terms or anything like that, here’s what you need to know about the federal government’s new dietary guidelines:

They want you to ditch the added sugar and the saturated fats. No big surprise here…after years of research we’ve finally concluded that consuming excess amounts of added sugar is, in fact, bad for your health. For the first time ever, the government has prompted Americans to reduce their added sugar intake to less than 10% of their total caloric intake. If you’re going by the traditional 2,000 calories a day recommendation, that means that no more than 200 calories should come from added sugars (to put it in perspective, that’s like one can of soda).

They’ve also made the same recommendation for saturated fats, since it turns out those aren’t so great for you either, and are oftentimes loaded with cholesterol. The recommended guidelines for saturated fat consumptions have been dropped to less than 10% of your total caloric intake as well.

Ixnay the altsay. That’s right, experts have decided that the average American is still consuming way too much sodium. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have determined that more than 90% of children and 89% of adults aged 19 and over in the US eat too much sodium, so in response to that the new dietary guidelines recommend sodium intake of no more than 2,300 mg of salt per day. When it comes to salt, the general consensus is that less is more.

There were a few other changes, like suggestions to increase fruit, vegetable, and whole grain intakes across the board and to add seafood into your diet, but the recommendations surrounding salt, sugar, and saturated fats were definitely the largest.

If you want to check out ALL of the changes to this year’s dietary guidelines, you can see them all here.