The Obama administration has released its update to the Dietary Guidelines. Revised every five years, these guidelines are based on evolving nutrition science and serve as the government’s official advice on what to eat. Here’s a look at the major changes to the dietary guidelines for Americans:
- Americans are being told to limit sugar to no more than 10% of daily calories.
- The focus on consuming more fruits and vegetables, more fiber and whole grains, and less salt has remained the same.
- The guidelines point out that teen boys and adult men, on average, consume more than the recommended 26 ounces a week of protein from animal sources, so they should “reduce overall intake of protein foods.”
- The new guidelines drop a longstanding recommendation to limit cholesterol to 300 milligrams a day.
- The guidelines call on Americans to cut sodium to no more than 2,300 milligrams per day. Most of us consume about 3,440 milligrams daily on average.
The Dietary Guidelines report also point out one staggering fact: three-fourths of Americans don’t eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. For teens, that number drops to under 10%.
The World Almanac for Kids has a brand-new Healthy Eating module to support your efforts to teach students about all aspects of healthy eating and nutrition. Engaging text and videos combine to cover timely and important topics such as basic nutrition, weight management, nutrition for sports and exercise, eating disorders, food safety, and disease prevention.
The new Healthy Eating module can answer the questions that these guidelines bring up, like:
“How many calories do we need?”
“Why do we need to eat fruits and vegetables?”
“What’s a ‘recommended daily value’?”
“What does protein do for the body?”
Concise bullet points break down important topics into easily digestible, bite-sized bits, and the videos provide clear, easy-to-understand overviews—a great way to introduce a lesson on nutrition! For example, here is an excerpt on “Protein” from the unit on basic nutrition:
- “Protein provides some energy to our bodies, but it’s not a huge source. It tends to be used more for the structure of the body.
- Protein is the only nutrient that has nitrogen, which is required for cell walls and for tissue formation. Your body requires protein in order to maintain body tissue.
- Protein molecules are composed of chain-like strands of smaller molecules called amino acids. New proteins are created from amino acids. Some of these come from your diet, while others come from the breakdown of old proteins in the body.
- Plant foods such as tofu and other soybean products, tree nuts, peas and beans are all excellent protein sources; animal foods such as meat, milk and milk products, eggs, poultry, and fish are all rich in protein and essential amino acids.”
For more healthy eating tips, check out Healthy Eating on the World Almanac for Kids today!
Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial.