USDA Announces 2010 Dietary Guidelines

Dietary Guidelines

Dietary Guidelines

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans for healthier food choices, and addressing the obesity epidemic.

The guidelines come out once every five years, and this year's focus is limiting the amount of sodium in American's diets.

The report recommends people who are 51 and older, African-Americans or those with hypertension, diabetes or kidney disease to limit their sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams a day (or half a teaspoon).

Everyone else should reduce their intake to less than 2,300 mg.

Annie Goodwin, Benton-Franklin Health Department, said there is a huge emphasis to lower salt intake for Americans, and we should start seeing it at the grocery store as well.

"What you might start seeing...is that foods will start touting lower sodium or new packaging that says they are lower sodium," Goodwin said. "You may see it on the front of the label instead of the back of the label where it'll make it easier to compare products."

The guidelines also outlines more typical advice, for instance:

- Increase vegetable and fruit intake

- Consume at least half of all grains as whole grains

- Increase intake of fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products

- Consume less than 300 mg per day of dietary cholesterol

- Reduce the intake of calories from solid fats and added sugars

These guidelines will also be used to help determine what will be served at school cafeterias and for federally funded programs like Meals on Wheels.

For a full view of the guidelines, please click here.