The general tone of the new eating suggestions should sound mostly familiar.
Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits. Make sure at least half of your grains are whole grains. Choose fat-free or low-fat dairy. Eat a variety of proteins include seafood, lean meats, legumes and yes, even eggs.
And limit caloric intake from some of those less-healthy sources:
- Less than 10 percent of calories per day should come from added sugars.
- Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from saturated fats.
- Sodium intake should be less than 2,300 mg per day.
- If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation — up to one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men.
In the past, the guidelines have included warnings about limiting cholesterol. But egg producers should be happy this time around, the New York Times points out: "Longstanding limits on dietary cholesterol were also removed, a victory for the nation’s egg producers, which have long argued that cholesterol from eggs and seafood is not a major health concern."
However, as noted above, the guidelines still recommend limiting saturated fats which are typically found to be high in "bad" cholesterol.
The guidelines also specifically single out teen boys and adult men for eating too much meat:
"Some individuals, especially teen boys and adult men, also need to reduce overall intake of protein foods by decreasing intakes of meats, poultry, and eggs and increasing amounts of vegetables or other underconsumed food groups."
The dietary guidelines, which are updated every five years, are issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services. They were first issued in 1980.
Although they may not make much of an impact on the average American's life, the guidelines are used to shape school lunches and breakfasts, which feed more than 30 million children each school day, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.
“By focusing on small shifts in what we eat and drink, eating healthy becomes more manageable," said Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia M. Burwell in a press release. "The Dietary Guidelines provide science-based recommendations on food and nutrition so people can make decisions that may help keep their weight under control, and prevent chronic conditions, like Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.”