Federal government updates dietary guidelines

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fruits, vegetables, protein, grains and dairy collage

The eighth version of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines was released Jan. 7. With emphasis on nutrition and health, the latest guidelines focus on healthy eating patterns, a variety of choices and limiting added sugars, sodium and saturated fats.

‘A healthy pattern’

In 2011, MyPlate was introduced, taking the place of the food pyramid that had reigned since 2000. MyPlate offers a visual representation of how much of each food group — vegetables, fruits, proteins, grains and dairy — should be consumed daily.

Based on the revised dietary guidelines, these nutrition tips remain true: Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, vary protein sources, consume low-fat or fat-free milk products, make at least half of your grains whole grain and consume fewer added sugars, saturated fat and sodium.

About the guidelines

According to the executive summary of the new guidelines, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture have to publish guidelines every five years. The guidelines are used to report development of the country’s food, nutrition and health programs and policies, such as school breakfast and lunch programs.

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