New Dietary Guidelines for Americans: eat less sugar, more cholesterol!

The new 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were finally released today (in 2016). They are very similar to the earlier 2010 guidelines, but there are two major improvements:

  • A new limit on added sugar, at 10% of energy
  • Any warning against dietary cholesterol is removed – eat all the cholesterol you want

The silly warning against skipping breakfast is gone, another positive development. And some people are allowed to eat slightly more salt, probably good.

Total fat is not even mentioned, the old low-fat message disappeared back in 2010, so there’s no limit on total fat.

The major problem is that the guidelines still limit saturated fat at 10%. When will that old theory finally die? It will really feel awkward in a few years, as fewer and fewer people believe in it. Rumor says that the saturated fat thing may really be a proxy for meat, as many of the people responsible have a slight vegetarian bias. But there’s even less science to back up that idea – and more resistance.

Unfortunately the real-world consequence of limiting saturated fat is people will eat less fat and more carbs, in the middle of an obesity epidemic. Not good. As this high-carb advice is very similar to what we’ve been getting for 35 years – while obesity has skyrocketed – that disaster is likely to continue. At least for those who depend on these guidelines.

On the whole though, one very small step forward. Less sugar, more cholesterol.


  1. Nate
    The Dietary Guidelines' "focus is disease prevention. The Dietary Guidelines is not intended to be used to treat disease." What? If a particular diet cured one of disease, why would it not also prevent the disease from developing in the first place? Then, of course, the opposite is true. A preventive diet should at least help cure someone of that prevented disease. To me that is just bad logic. Am I wrong? Am I missing something?
    Reply: #2
  2. Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, MD Team Diet Doctor
    I think your argument is good, at least when it comes to the massive epidemic of obesity/metabolic syndrome/type 2 diabetes.
  3. Robin
    10% added sugar is horrifying - how do you even that much sugar in a day? 200-250 calories of sugar per day?

    10% added sugar isn't the lactose in your milk, glucose/fructose in fruit etc. It's 10% "added" sugar.

    That's still a good bit of junk food to eat or foods that appear to be healthy that are deceptively high in sugar. Bread products, yogurts and cereal products will still be laced with extra sugar and in the case of yogurt - because we have to cut back on fat.

    Given that most of us in ad libitum eating environments where we can and do regularly over eat I don't see how this is a good idea.

  4. LeeAnn
    I'm confused. It states to consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from added sugars, and consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from saturated fats. So, how is this going to work? Manufacturers take out the natural, good, healthy fat from things like dairy, and they can't replace them with 'added sugars'.....wait, is this where they ADD sugar but change it's name, so they don't have to label an item as 50% sugar? Is this where they don't add sugar (in accordance with the recommendations), but add evaporated cane juice, cane crystals, dextrose, maltose, malt syrup, corn syrup, honey and maltodextrin just so the 'food' is palatable? And then they will wonder why obesity isn't decreasing...they will then state it isn't "SUGAR" because when limiting 'SUGAR', diabetes and obesity still increased.... Head.Bang.On.Desk.
  5. Tor H
    Here's what those guidelines does to people, they make them "hangry".

    Guess who cites real science in this debate:


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