For those interested in a whole foods, plant-based diet, the report from the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is a a near ‘win’. The group acknowledges that half of American adults have one or more preventable diseases – including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes – due to poor diet and sedentary behaviors.
The committee, consisting of scientists and experts in the field of nutrition and health, is advocating drinking less soda and more water, eating less meat – particularly processed meat, less saturated fats (which naturally happens when focuses on eating more plant-based foods), less refined grains, added sugars, and sodium. At the same time, they are rallying around a health-promoting diet higher in plant-based foods including vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fruits, nuts and seeds.
There are some new, rather surprising bits about ‘de-regulating’ cholesterol, addressing aspects of sustainability and food choices, and the influence of family and community in improving dietary and activity patterns. The committee is focusing on getting the proper foods into the diet, acknowledging that “a healthy dietary pattern has little room for sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars. ”
Let us hope that this scientific report will be preserved as it goes through the political process- which includes consideration on the part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and The United States Department of Agriculture, lobbying on the part of food companies, meat & dairy industries, and other interests- in order to make the 8th edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans the best, unbiased information being disseminated since its inception 35 years ago.
Regardless of what will end up being on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, the ‘common sense’ remains the same – eat wholesome, real food & more plants!