Feb 20, 2015
Nutrition experts on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee submitted their recommendations for the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) for consideration for the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015. One of their healthy suggestions: Ease up on the meat.
The report points out that a staggering 117 million American adults have preventable, chronic diseases, many of which stem from poor diet. One of their recommended solutions for this is turning to what they call the "Healthy Vegetarian Pattern." Notable characteristics of this diet include no meat and more nuts and legumes.
Previous advisory committees have touted the benefits of going vegetarian, but this is the first panel to specifically recommend switching to a plant-based diet as a healthy option. They cite the facts that meatless diets are associated with lower body weight, lower blood pressure, and lower risk of heart disease. They even bring up the point that fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds not only have their own health benefits, but are also less damaging to the environment than our current meat system.
Fiber plays a key role in the report, since it has been shown to help prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Given how rich in fiber fruits, vegetables, and grains are, we're excited to see that a plant-based diet could be getting unprecedented attention as a healthy way to boost your fiber.
A nod towards plant-based eating isn't the only twist in this report. They also say that dietary cholesterol isn't the threat people once thought it was. This means that avoiding high-cholesterol foods for the sake of high-cholesterol may be a thing of the past.
This recommendation will be considered by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) and the full Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015 will be released later this year.
"For decades, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans have been at the core of our efforts to promote the health and well-being of American families," said Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a joint statement. "Now that the advisory committee has completed its recommendations, HHS and USDA will review this advisory report, along with comments from the public-including other experts-and input from other federal agencies as we begin the process of updating the guidelines."