Put on your seatbelt. We anticipate this article could spark a bit of controversy.
Hear us out…
Every 5 years, the FDA releases new Dietary Guidelines as the nation’s “go-to source” for nutrition advice, based on the latest nutrition science, to help Americans make healthy food and beverage choices. The guidelines are even used for programs like the USDA’s National Lunch Program & School Breakfast Program which feeds more than 30 million children each school day! (that’s a whole separate blog entry).
The guidelines are “ultimately intended to help individuals improve and maintain overall health and reduce the risk of chronic disease—with a focus on disease prevention” – Health.gov.
And yet one step further…
The guidelines are meant for the medical community and nutrition professionals to recommend healthy eating patterns to patients.
Yet, our nation is the unhealthiest it has ever been.
50 million Americans, 20% of the population (1 in 5 people), suffer from autoimmune diseases, 50% of American’s have either diabetes or prediabetes by age 65 and 68% of adults are considered overweight or obese, (CDC)
Houston, we have a problem.
Dare we say the dietary guidelines might be the cause?
Let’s play the FDA nutrition game.
Here’s a summary of the 144 page(!) document released by the USDA, with the intention to redefine the word “healthy”. It suggests the following daily requirements: limiting sugar to 50 grams(!), limiting total/saturated fat and salt, adding more veggies, eating six, 6oz servings of whole grains and getting at least 10% of daily requirements for vitamins, fiber and other nutrients.
By that definition, we could safely eat most of the processed foods on the shelf.
CNN quotes Dr. Steven Nissen, chairman of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, “the science behind the guidelines is weak… [these guidelines] give broad recommendations and broad ranges.”
People are confused. The government is falsely teaching people about what is healthy.
In The International Food Information Council Foundation’s annual Food and Health survey, 8 in 10 people found conflicting information about what foods to eat and what to avoid. More alarmingly, more than half of those surveyed doubt the choices they are making are actually healthy. In fact, we spent almost an hour searching for a visual from the FDA for people to reference as a guideline and there was none – no “MyPlates” or food pyramids of the past. Just the vague requirements listed above.
What is the solution?
It’s no secret we stand behind a grain-free diet, as countless studies, publications and data point to grains and sugar as the cause of disease and inflammation, not the solution.
However, we also think the FDA guidelines are encouraging people to eat the wrong foods. Our food recommendations look a little different. If we were heading up the FDA (it could happen one day!), here is what we would recommend:
We believe this should be the standard of the American diet. We believe the nation would be healthier on this type of structured diet. The current recommendations are actually an oxymoron of what “healthy” truly means and leaves large room for error in interpretation of what foods can actually be classified as healthy.
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