Pass The Veggies
The USDA announces new dietary guidelines aimed at tackling obesity.
The federal government has released new guidelines on what americans should and should not be eating.
The main message: Hold the salt.
The salt shaker is not responsible for the majority of sodium in our diets.
It's hidden inside food we eat at restaurants and in packaged goods at the grocery store, especially breads and items we don't normally think of as salty, like cookies and cake.
The new guidelines suggest those with high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, African Americans of all ages and everyone over age 51 should limit their salt intake to 1,500 milligrams a day.
The average American consumes 3,400.
Reducing that's going to require a lot of label reading and scrutiny over menus at restaurants to find the lowest-sodium options.
It's also going to take practice to get our test buds on board.
Experts say changing the level of salt used in your dishes over time will help ease the transition.
With two-thirds of American adults overweight or obese, the guidelines are aimed at helping consumers burn more calories than they consume.
The idea is not necessarily to count every calorie, but to make every calorie count.
Other key recommendations:
- Switch to fat-free or low-fat dairy.
- Drink more water.
- Fruits and vegetables should make up half a typical dinner plate.
- At least half of the grains we consume should be whole grain.
These guidelines form the basis of the popular "food pyramid."
An updated version is expected to be released this year.