Facts for FACS Teachers
Today's Advice for Smart Nutrition:
2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Roberta L. Duyff, MS, RD, CFCS, author, Nutrition and
Wellness © 2004
Feel better today and stay healthy for
tomorrow. How? Follow the latest science-based advice, released
in January, 2005, for nutrition and physical activity. Geared
toward healthy Americans two years of age and over, 2005 Dietary
Guidelines for Americans aim to promote health and reduce
the risk of many chronic diseases through nutrition and physical
activity. The goal is to help Americans live healthier, longer
Why now? Every five years, federal law
requires that the Dietary Guidelines be updated.
This is the sixth time the U.S. Departments of Health and
Human Services and Agriculture have published Dietary
Guidelines. The first was in 1980.
The first step in the revision process
for its release in 2005 was an expert review of the best-available
scientific information on nutrition and health, including
medical information. Next, government scientists and officials
not only reviewed this scientific report, but they also reviewed
agency and public comments before developing the recommendations.
The final step is currently in process: translating 2005 Dietary
Guidelines into meaningful messages for the public and
Highlights from the
2005 Dietary Guidelines
Dietary Guidelines is not “food-group advice”;
it’s much broader. The report answers questions about
what Americans should eat to gain the health benefits from
a nutritionally balanced diet, how to get the most nourishment
from the calories consumed, how to prepare food to keep it
safe and wholesome, and how to maintain health through physical
Besides the scientific update, what makes
the new Dietary Guidelines different from past advice?
With the growing obesity problem, there's much more emphasis
on eating fewer calories and increasing physical activity.
The new recommendations also provide action steps for weight
control, stronger muscles and bones, and balanced nutrition
to help prevent chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes,
and some cancers.
The format for the 2005 Dietary Guidelines
differs from the ten brief statements given in the previous
guidelines. For 2005, 41 key recommendations (23 for the general
public and 18 for special populations) are grouped into nine
See the chart below, Summary of Dietary
Guidelines for Americans.
- Adequate Nutrients Within Calorie Needs
- Weight Management
- Physical Activity
- Food Groups to Encourage
- Sodium and Potassium
- Alcoholic Beverages
- Food Safety
A federal government report, the 2005 Dietary Guidelines,
guides many nutrition-focused initiatives, including public
policy and nutrition education. Government programs, such
as school lunch, food labeling, the food stamp program, and
the WIC program, will be reviewed and updated in the near
future using these recommendations. The new Dietary Guidelines
will drive food-product development, marketing, and consumer
information in the food industry.
The 2005 Dietary Guidelines report was
written for professionals, not for classroom or consumer use.
In order to help healthy Americans understand and apply the
2005 Dietary Guidelines to their own lives, government agencies
are developing consumer-friendly brochures, Web sites, and
instructional aids. In April, the Food Guide Pyramid was replaced
with MyPyramid, http://www.mypyramid.gov/,
an interactive food guidance system. This system provides
for a more individualized approach to improving diet and lifestyle.
More about the 2005
Summary of Dietary Guidelines for Americans
For the executive summary and the complete report, which includes more advice for specific groups of consumers, including teens, refer to the Web site:
An easy-to-use consumer brochure, Finding Your Way to a Healthier
You, (also on the Web site), can help students and parents
put this science-based advice for smart eating and active
living into action. The brochure provides information for
making smart choices from every food group, balancing food
and physical activity, and getting the most nutrition from
the calories consumed.
|Adequate nutrients within
- Eat a variety of nutritious foods and beverages.
- Choose foods that limit saturated and trans fats,
cholesterol, added sugars, and salt.
- Adopt a balanced eating pattern.
- Balance calories consumed with calories used for
energy needs to maintain a healthy weight.
- Adjust calories and activity to prevent weight gain.
- Engage in regular physical activity
and reduce sedentary activities to promote health,
psychological well-being, and a healthy body weight.
- Include cardiovascular conditioning,
stretching exercises for flexibility, and resistance
exercises or calisthenics for muscle strength and
|Food Groups to Encourage
- Consume a variety of foods from the different food
groups. Eat the recommended amounts each day but in
balance with energy needs.
- Consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated
fat and less than 300 mg/day of cholesterol, and keep
consumption of trans fat as low as possible.
- Keep total fat intake between 20 and 35 percent
of calories, with most fats coming from sources of
polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, such
as fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.
- When selecting meat, poultry, dry beans, and milk
or milk products, choose lean, low-fat, or fat-free.
- Limit intake of fats and oils high in saturated
and trans fat.
- Choose fiber-rich fruits, vegetables,
and whole grains often.
- Choose foods and beverages with
little added sugars or caloric sweeteners.
- Practice good oral hygiene and
consume sugar- and starch-containing foods and beverages
|Sodium and Potassium
- Consume less than 2,300 mg of
sodium (about 1 teaspoon of salt) per day by choosing
and preparing foods with little salt.
- Consume potassium-rich foods,
such as fruits and vegetables.
- Alcoholic beverages should not
be consumed by some individuals, such as those who
cannot restrict their intake, women who are pregnant
or could become pregnant, children and adolescents,
individuals taking medications that can interact with
alcohol, and those with specific medical conditions.
- Alcoholic beverages should be
avoided by individuals engaging in activities that
require attention, skill, or coordination.
- Avoid microbial food-borne illness
by cleaning hands, food contact surfaces, and fruits
and vegetables. Meat and poultry should not be washed
- Keep raw, cooked, and ready-to-eat
- Cook foods to a safe temperature
to kill microorganisms.
- Refrigerate perishable foods promptly
and defrost foods properly.
- Avoid raw (unpasteurized) milk
or milk products, raw or partially cooked eggs or
foods containing raw eggs, raw or undercooked meat
and poultry, unpasteurized juices, and raw sprouts.