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Breakfast nosh and thirst quenchers biggest news in 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines

A customer buys tomatoes at a fruit and vegetable stand.
A customer buys tomatoes at a fruit and vegetable stand.
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Some Americans may not have to cut back on eggs, coffee, and salt as much as they once thought and eating lean meat is still OK.

But watch the added sugars, especially the sugary drinks.

New dietary guidelines, released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, back off the strictest sodium rules included in the last version, while still asserting that Americans consume too much salt. The guidelines reverse previous guidance on the dangers of dietary cholesterol and add strict new advice on sugars.    

After a backlash from the meat industry and Congress, the administration ignored several suggestions from a February report by an advisory committee of doctors and nutrition experts. That panel suggested calling for an environmentally friendly diet lower in red and processed meats and de-emphasized lean meats in its list of proteins that are part of a healthy diet.    

But, as in the previous years, the government still says lean meats are part of a healthy eating pattern.

What are the major changes? How were they arrived at? Where do the guidelines fall short in your opinion? How will the USDA get out the word to change Americans’ diet habits? Will behavior change?

With files from the Associated Press.


Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University. She is the author of a number of books on nutrition and food safety, including “Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health” (University of California Press, 2013), which she co-authored with Michael Pollan

Joy Dubost, PhD in Food Science a Registered Dietitian with a PhD in Food Science; Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics