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Food & Beverage Reporter Jan-Feb 2016

NUTRITION I t’s a recipe for controversy, a boiling pot of accusation and counter- accusation, pitting nutrition experts against one another. It’s the updated American Dietary Guidelines which influence the eating habits of hundreds of millions of people around the world because they are followed by governments globally and mobilise the food industry into re-assessing its product and marketing strategies. In the US, an expert panel updates the guidelines every five years. The latest 2015 guidelines, announced in January by the US Dept of Agriculture, have quickly sent temperatures soaring, even as experts have welcomed some of the recommendations. The 2015 guidelines, which replace those from 2010, call for a significant reduction in added sugars, and higher consumption of vegetables of all kinds and colours, along with beans, peas and starchy vegetables. Also deemed healthful are whole fruits and grains, as long as at least half are whole grains. The guidelines also recommend non- fat or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt and cheese, with the addition of fortified soy beverages. Protein foods can include seafood, lean meats, poultry, eggs, beans, peas, nuts, seeds and soy products. Oils are considered to be nutritional, albeit with recommendations that saturated fats be limited to no more than 10 percent of total calories. The new guidelines have removed the 2010 guideline limit of 300 daily milligrams of cholesterol but continue recommending that “individuals should eat as little dietary cholesterol as possible”, listing fatty meats and high-fat dairy products as foods high in saturated fats. Sugar also should represent no more than 10 percent of total daily calories. Salt or sodium intake should not exceed 2300 milligrams, or about a teaspoon. The guidelines’ introduction describes “a history of poor eating and physical activity patterns” leading to significant nutritional health problems, with about half of all American adults, or about 117 million individuals, having one or more preventable chronic diseases. .... continued on Page 40 New dietary guidelines ... A pot of controversy Own Correspondent

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