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New 2010 Dietary Guidelines Resource

Posted by Judith Jarvis, MS, RDN @ 10:27 AM

Judith.Jarvis

The two overarching themes of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) are balancing calories to manage body weight through all life stages and choosing nutrient-dense foods and beverages. The May/June issue of the Dairy Council Digest provides a nice overview of the Guidelines, highlighting its key messages to communicate to the public.

Similar to the previous DGA (2005), the new DGA acknowledges the important role of dairy foods as part of a healthful diet:

  • To build healthy eating patterns that meet nutritional needs, control calorie intake and help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, the DGA recommends increased consumption of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat milk and milk products and seafood, and decreased intake of sodium, solid fats (a source of saturated and trans fatty acids), cholesterol, added sugars and refined grains.
  • The new DGA recommends 3 cups of fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products every day for Americans 9 years and older and 2 cups for children ages 2 to 3 years. For children 4 to 8 years, an increase from 2 cups to 2 1/2 cups every day is recommended.
  • Fat-free and low-fat milk and milk products are identified as nutrient-dense foods to increase. The DGA lists potassium, dietary fiber, calcium and vitamin D as nutrients of public health concern. Milk is the number one source in the American diet of three of these four nutrients―calcium, potassium and vitamin D.
  • For those with lactose intolerance, choosing low-fat or fat-free lactose-free milk and drinking smaller amounts of milk at a time are identified as key strategies to obtain dairy nutrients.

As health professionals, we will refer to the recommendations of the 2010 DGA for the next 5 years.  This Digest is a great resource for those needing a concise overview of the key recommendations.

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