New Year, New Dietary Guidelines

Briana Gavin, freshman

As 2016 makes it start, many individuals will be joining the gym and watching what they eat. What better way to balance your diet than read the new 2015 dietary guidelines! The guidelines are recommendations on how individuals should balance their diets and receive the needed nutrients.

Every 5 years the national dietary guidelines are updated. While reading the new guidelines would be helpful, it would also take a good amount of time. In order to make it more relatable and concise the guidelines can be summarized down to 4 key approaches everyone is encouraged to follow.

First it is important to follow an eating pattern, by this we mean monitoring what you eat and making sure you are getting the needed nutrients and variety. Finding out what is a good calorie intake for you is a start and then from there tailor you food choices to meet your food preferences and needs.

The second key approach is to add variety in your diet. Nutrient intake is important and variety means to eat food high in essential nutrient from all different food groups to have a healthy balanced diet. Another part of the second approach is to eat nutrient dense food and watch proportions. Nutrient dense food describes food that is high in needed nutrients but low in calories, think more bang for your buck. Proportions are always a concern with majority of Americans eating out more we tend to eat more than we expect. Making sure you are eating the appropriate amounts of food are one simple step towards a better balance diet.

The third guideline suggests cutting added sugars and sodium intake. We have all heard this before but it is a good rule to follow. Nowadays, more food has higher amounts of sugar and sodium then we think. Everything in moderation is a saying that fits well with this rule, while some sugar and sodium are okay in a diet, having excessive amounts of either could put you at a higher risk for diseases. By watching your intake, you can stay healthier!

The fourth guideline to follow is a general one recommending to shift to healthier food and drink choices. What we eat and drink effects our body, being aware and making smaller choices to eat healthier can have a big impact on our health. Changing habits such as drinking less soda and switching to diet instead are small changes we can all make.

Always strive to be healthier but also promote healthy eating to others! Everyone should show support for balanced diets and these new guidelines are helpful for achieving that goal!



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