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New U.S. Dietary Guidelines Focus on Salt Reduction
Date:1/31/2011

ged 51 and over, the guidelines fail to address "the very real issue of excess sodium consumption across the population." Instead, the AHA believes that "the 1,500 mg recommendation should apply to all Americans -- children and adults."

The 2010 advisory also puts "more emphasis on getting people to choose healthier types of fats," Sandon noted.

The new guidelines are "tools to give Americans better information about how to stay healthy, how to become healthier, how to make children better students and be prosperous in the future," Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said during the news conference.

This time around, there are highly specific recommendations on fats: That no more than 10 percent of calories should come from saturated fat and, in their place, eating monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Americans are also being urged to eat more seafood, particularly cold water fish, "in an attempt to up consumption of healthier fats like omega-3 fats that we know are health-promoting," said Sandon.

That was not specifically stated in past versions of the guidelines.

In a way, the messages contained in this new document aren't much different than what experts have been trying to drive home for years.

These include eating smaller portions, reducing calorie consumption and increasing physical activity.

Specifically, the guidelines suggest:

  • Making half your plate fruits and vegetables and eating more whole grains to get more of needed nutrients.
  • Eating more lean meats and poultry, legumes and nuts and seeds.
  • Using fat-free or low-fat (1 percent) milk.
  • Staying away from added sugars, refined grains and solid fats, which tend to have many calories but few essential nutrients.
  • Making sodium comparisons for foods such as canned soup and frozen meals, then select those foods with the least salt.
  • Consuming less than
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