Wednesday, February 21, 2024

USDA, HHS encourage healthy eating patterns for better health

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By Gillan Ritchie

Poultry Times staff

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the USDA have announced that eggs are now included in all three health eating patterns as part of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines. In a press released published by USDA, the two organizations have also said that they have removed a daily limit on dietary cholesterol.

The guidelines encourage Americans to adopt a healthier lifestyle through scientific-based recommendations to help reduce obesity and lower the risks for chronic illnesses.

“Protecting the health of the American public includes empowering them with the tools they need to make healthy choices in their daily lives,” said Sylvia M. Burwell, secretary of HHS. “By focusing on small shifts in what we eat and drink, eating healthy becomes more manageable. The dietary guidelines provide science-based recommendations on food and nutrition so people can make decisions that may help keep their weight under control, and prevent chronic illnesses, like Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.”

According to Iowa Egg Council Executive Director Randy Olson in a press release, the guidelines reflect just how important eggs are for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Eggs are important for several reasons: they are nutrient rich; they naturally contain vitamin D; high-quality protein; and they provide choline, lutein and zeaxanthin, three nutrients that aid in healthy brain function and eyesight.

The newest edition of the dietary guidelines discusses the advancement in understanding health eating and how better choices play out over a lifetime. According to the press release, the 2015 edition “recognizes the importance of focusing not on individual nutrients or foods in isolation, but on the variety of what people eat and drink – healthy eating patterns as a whole – to bring about lasting improvements in individuals and population health.”

“The Dietary Guidelines for Americans is one of many important tools that help to support a healthier next generation of Americans,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in the press release. “The latest edition of the Dietary Guidelines provides individuals with the flexibility to make healthy food choices that are right for them and their families and take advantage of the diversity of products available, thanks to America’s farmers and ranchers.”

Recommendations for better health patters in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines include:

  • Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan. Eating patterns are the combination of foods and drinks that a person eats over time.
  • Focus on variety, nutrient-dense foods and the amount
  • Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats, and reduce sodium intake
  • Shift to healthier foods and beverage choices
  • Support healthy eating patterns for all

The 2015 edition contains updated information on topics regarding added sugars, sodium, cholesterol and new information involving caffeine. The guidelines also reaffirm the building blocks to a healthy lifestyle and encourage Americans to keep improving their diet and lifestyle.

More information about the 2015 Dietary Guidelines can be obtained at

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