Changes to guidelines for a healthy diet


Every five years the U.S. Department of Agriculture updates the dietary guidelines with the goal of promoting healthy eating among Americans.

The current guidelines expire this year and a first draft of the 2021 guidelines has been released.

Dr. Nicole Avena says the biggest changes so far include the recommendations for alcohol and sugar.

For alcohol, the current recommendations vary by gender. For women, the recommendation is up to one drink per day and two drinks per day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age.

Next year, Dr. Avena says the recommendations will be the same for men and women but did not say what the new recommendation would be.

For sugar, currently Dr. Avena says it is recommended that 10% of your daily calories comes from sugar. Under the new guidelines, that will be reduced to 6% per day.

Another highlight from the draft of the 2021 recommendations is an emphasis on the importance of early life nutrition.

Dr. Avena says this includes the importance of taking a prenatal before and during pregnancy, eating a healthy, balanced diet during pregnancy and nursing, and emphasis on a healthy diet during crucial development periods like infancy and toddlerhood.

The 2021 recommendations will be released in December.

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