Some of the recommendations shouldn't surprise anyone: eat more fruits and vegetables, eat less red meat. But other recommendations are finally catching up to the science that RD's have been preaching for some time, including that idea that "egg yolks are OK!"
Last week I visited BayNews9 in Tampa to chat about the new recommendations. Click here to view.
Besides the news that egg yolks won't directly raise your blood cholesterol, other newsworthy recommendations included being more sustainable, avoiding red and processed meat, and a higher upper limit for caffeine. If you're interested in more info here's some of the Q & A from the station.
According to the panel, the global production of food accounts for 80% of deforestation and 70% of fresh water use. The government has to focus on sustainable diets if it wants to ensure an adequate food supply will be available for future generations, it said. What is eating to promote sustainability?
- Most foods you find in the grocery store are made in an unsustainable food system, meaning that as time goes on our current methods of food production and transportation won’t last with an increasing population and limited resources.
- Eating sustainability is making choices that have a lower impact on the environment, for example local foods that haven’t had to travel across the country or buying produce at a local farmer’s market. It’s also about whole foods that are grown in a way that doesn’t harm the environment or the workers who produce them. Think back to how people ate hundreds of years ago and that was a more sustainable system.
- This also goes back to a plant based diet as 18% of global emissions come from livestock, so by eating a more local plant based diet we’re boosting sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint.
- Another great way to boost your sustainability is to try to grow produce and herbs yourself.
- This is not saying that everyone needs to be a vegetarian, but a conscious reduction in red meat consumption would benefit overall health and the environment. Think about the difference of eating beans transported from Asia vs eating local Florida beef.
- Buy fair trade – making sure farmers are properly compensated for their work and harvest
Current dietary guidelines suggest Americans limit their cholesterol to 300 milligrams a day. That’s less than what’s found in a couple of eggs. This time around, the advisory panel said it’s ditching that recommendation because it can’t find evidence of an “appreciable relationship” between dietary cholesterol and cholesterol in the blood. The American Heart Association has also said that limiting dietary cholesterol will not lower the artery-clogging LDL (bad) cholesterol. Does this surprise you and should people not worry at all about their cholesterol intake, or should they still be conscious of how much they are putting into their bodies?
- No this doesn’t surprise me at all and this is something that I and many other dietitians out there have been saying for some years. When we’re talking about dietary cholesterol, biologically our bodies simply don’t absorb say that cholesterol in an egg yolk and deposit them in the arteries.
- Plus specifically with eggs so many of the wonderful, beneficial nutrients from the egg are in the yolk like fat-soluble vitamin and essential fatty acids.
- If you’re someone concerned about cholesterol then I think it’s better to look to reduce your saturated fats like butter, bacon, and the fatty, processed meats we talked about before.
- Also if you’re concerned about your LDL cholesterol try adding in foods that can lower it naturally and boost your fiber intake and look for plant stanols in your cooking oils.
What did the panel recommend for coffee and alcohol?
- Coffee and alcohol both have some benefits in moderation.
- The panel is saying that up to 400mg of caffeine a day is ok in adults.
- It’s important to note that’s equivalent to about 3-5 cups of coffee, which is not a giant cup but an 8oz cup.
- Some research supports that coffee could reduce your risk to Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
What about beef and the difference between lean beef?
- Some critics have said these recommendations vilify beef and while that’s not the intention it can appear that way.
- When talking about sustainability, beef is a large animal and production of beef products can lead to a very large carbon footprint.
- Also depending on what type of beef you eat, you could be consuming something that isn’t ideal for your health. I would stress portion size if you do consume beef, looking for a portion the size of your palm and I’d also focus on grass fed beef products and eat locally when you can
- Specifically lean beef should be less than 10 grams of fat per 3 oz serving with no more than 4.5 grams of saturated fat
o For a 2,000 calorie diet you should aim to have less than 16 grams of saturated fat daily
o Leanest cuts are beef eye of round, top round, sirloin steak, flank steak.
What are the recommendations and differences between farm raised seafood and wild seafood?These are the recommendations for changes to the 2015 dietary guidelines
- You know I think this could be one of the most confusing to consumers and controversial parts of these recommendations. When we’re talking about farm raised vs wild seafood there are lots of components that can go into this discussion that are both environmental and health related.
- Strictly speaking to these recommendations, they are saying that certain varieties of farm raised seafood such as: bass, cod, salmon, and trout are OK because of their increased amounts of omega 3’s.
- So when we look at the overall health issue we see that the benefits of eating farm raised fish, even if there is some mercury and some environmental effects, is far more beneficial than NOT eating them.
- Also the environmental effect of say farm raised fish vs conventional meat like beef, the meat is still the much larger environmental offender.
- The goal would be to eat both farm raised AND wild seafood to get those heart healthy benefits.What new recommendation is interesting to you?
What food trend are you seeing in your area?
Love and running my RD mouth,
Carissa & Kyle