Good news about food policy! Remember the old food pyramids that guided food choices? TILT! The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has served up some good news! Every five years guidelines come out that influence government policy, including spending related to food (think school lunches, for example).

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In this new report, there is more emphasis on plant consumption, comments that the industrial production of livestock isn’t sustainable, and that dietary cholesterol isn’t a big problem. We already know that people can have “high cholesterol” when they consume no cholesterol. Drink water when you’re thirsty. Drinking cups of coffee a day isn’t a big problem for most people. Ease up on sugar-sweetened foods and beverages. (Read labels if you wonder where the taste comes from in the food!) The report was short on recommendations about more good fats. (Who ever got fat eating just avocados? It’s the abundance of chips!)

Yes, the usual suspects (meat, soda, and processed food lobbyists) will be out in force decrying what will surely be called flawed science, stupid tax propositions, or whatever gets attention. Well, they’ll just be doing their job! We know we don’t need government guidelines in order to eat better and be more physically active. But the report supports the trend to higher consumption of more natural and less processed food. Mark Bittman wrote a brilliant piece about this report in the NY Times.

Today we should be happy that some scientists are standing up for the truth around food guidelines, and we can hope their report is accepted (without being gutted). Read the report and add your comments before mid-April 17, 2005.

The Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture has the opportunity to adopt better guidelines than what the food industry has proposed in the past.

Yes, all of the emotional issues around food remain, and guidelines have their limits. The new Dietary Guidelines have started a discussion. Change takes intention. It’s all about the energy we wish to have, and how to get it. It’s all really about change and process, one bite at a time.

Bon appetit!

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