USDA issues Dietary Guidelines for Americans every five years.
The most recent 112 page guideline was issues on January 31, 2011. And the guidelines states that
Because more than one-third of children and more than two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight or obese, the 7th edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans places stronger emphasis on reducing calorie consumption and increasing physical activity.
So it recommends the following:
1. Reduce daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) and further reduce intake to 1,500 mg among persons who are 51 and older and those of any age who are African American or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease. The 1,500 mg recommendation applies to about half of the U.S. population, including children, and the majority of adults.
2. Consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fatty acids by replacing them with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
3. Consume less than 300 mg per day of dietary cholesterol.
4. Keep trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible by limiting foods that contain synthetic sources of trans fats, such as partially hydrogenated oils, and by limiting other solid fats.
5. Reduce the intake of calories from solid fats and added sugars.
6. Limit the consumption of foods that contain refined grains, especially refined grain foods that contain solid fats, added sugars, and sodium.
7. If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation—up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age.
Furthermore, it recommends increasing some food intakes:
1. Increase vegetable and fruit intake.
2. Eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark-green and red and orange vegetables and beans and peas.
3. Consume at least half of all grains as whole grains. Increase whole-grain intake by replacing refined grains with whole grains.
4. Increase intake of fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, or fortified soy beverages.6
5. Choose a variety of protein foods, which include seafood, lean meat and poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products, and unsalted nuts and seeds.
6. Increase the amount and variety of seafood consumed by choosing seafood in place of some meat and poultry.
7. Replace protein foods that are higher in solid fats with choices that are lower in solid fats and calories and/or are sources of oils.
8. Use oils to replace solid fats where possible.
9. Choose foods that provide more potassium, dietary fiber, calcium, and vitamin D, which are nutrients of concern in American diets. These foods include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and milk and milk products.
Source: USDA 2010 Guideline
But don’t be alarmed when you see it mention how we have to consume more fruits and vegetables and exercise more. It’s been a “secret” to a healthier life and they are just letting the cat out of the bag.