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.