Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

No, you don't need to read the whole thing . . .

. . . but here are the new official U.S. government dietary guidelines for Americans. No, the Nanny State isn't actually forcing you to eat broccoli. (But try it, you'll like it!) They're just giving you information that you can take or leave.

There is one really important nugget in here. It really is very close to a magic bullet. That is the recommendation to limit added sugar to less than 10% of calories per day. This is the first time they've had the nerve to stand up to Big Soda and name a number.

Actually the number is still too high. The American Heart Association thinks it should be 5%. Anyway, just to be clear, one (1) single 16 ounce soda will take care of your 10%. That's it. If you want to eat a cookie or sprinkle sugar on your oatmeal, you can't drink a soda. Americans get almost half of their added sugar from sugary beverages, if you include coffee and tea which you should, because what you get at Starbucks is not actually coffee but sugar with added ingredients.

Want to lose weight? Forget about Atkins and Scarsdale and grapefruit and whatever other fad comes along. Don't drink soda, so-called "energy drinks," phony fruit juice (marketed as name-of-fruit cocktail or "drink"), or pretty much anything that's likely to be in the cooler at your local take-out. For most people, that's the single most important thing you can do. And even if you aren't seriously overweight, eating all that sugar increases your risk for diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

I am not a nut. This is the truth. It really is that simple. Yeah, once you've accomplished that there are still better and worse diets, and you still need to exercise and not smoke. But if people just stopped poisoning themselves with the products of Coke and Pepsi, it would be the single greatest advance in public health since sanitary sewers.

1 comment:

robin andrea said...

Great advice but I wonder if anyone ever listens to US government guidelines anymore.