Here's some other nuggets from the report (which, as NYU nutrition prof Marion Nestle points outon her Food Politics blog, is advisory and so isn't necessarily adopted verbatim by the HHS and USDA):
- People are advised to shift their eating pattern to something "more-plant based" that emphasizes veggies, cooked dry beans and peas, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
- Whatever kind of dietary pattern people follow, people should consume "only moderate amounts of lean meats, poultry, and eggs." (It will be interesting to see if this recommendation makes it into the final recs, given the USDA's mission to promote U.S. agriculture.)
- People tend to focus on what ratio of carbs to protein to fat they should be eating, but the real problem is "the over-consumption of total calories coupled with very low physical activity and too much sedentary time."
- Mindful eating — which the WSJ wroteabout in 2008 — gets a thumbs-up in the report for helping people control their weight. So does self-monitoring, or being aware of how many calories you're putting away each day.
- A daily multivitamin/mineral supplement "does not offer health benefits to healthy Americans" but can help people with known deficiencies of things such as iron or calcium.
- Saturated fat should make up no more than 7% of daily calories; sub in mono-or polyunsaturated fats instead. (Here'sthe Health Blog's recent look at the sat fat issue.)
- We should be aiming for no more than 1,500 mg per day of sodium rather than 2,300 mg, given that 70% of Americans fall into the high-risk category for high blood pressure (or already have it) … but it's okay to phase out salt gradually, given that it's so hard to change our taste for the stuff.
- The health benefits of cooked seafood (at least 12 ounces per week) outweigh the risks from mercury and other contaminants, provided that people "pay attention to local seafood advisories and limit their intake of large, predatory fish."
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