Are You Ready for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines?

The headlines in the papers screamed, “Less Sugar! More Coffee! Eat Eggs!”

And so it begins…

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans will be a large document to digest, I am sure. When the 2010 Dietary Guidelines were published I wanted a hard copy to have on hand for media interviews. I stopped printing that 2010 version at 200 pages; 2015 is likely to be just as voluminous.

It is a federal law that the USDA, Health and Human Services, and other national stakeholders review research from the previous 5 years and develop nutrition guidelines for healthy Americans over the age of 2 years. It is no small feat to read, absorb, dissect and rate all of the research conducted in this short period of time. Friends of mine were part of the volunteers who abstracted and graded the papers based on established standards for evidence for 2010.

Remember the food pyramids of 1995, 2000 and 2005? They were pictorial representations of the guidelines from those respective years. They were replaced in 2010 by MyPlate, when focus groups determined the average consumer did not understand what the pyramid was trying to say. I have to admit that I didn’t quite get what 2005 pyramid was getting at either. (Hence the hard copy from my office laser jet printer.)

The Guidelines are the basis of nutrition policy in the United States. Everything from the School Lunch program to WIC to SNAP to the Nutrition Facts Panel on your kid’s cereal box to the misguided advice from your physician will be based on this document until 2020.

The thing is, the 2015 report won’t be out until the end of the year, and already the press is eavesdropping its way into sensational headlines.

So for now my take-home message: it is OK to eat an egg everyday as long as the rest of your diet is essentially low in saturated fat. And your morning cup of joe won’t hurt you unless it has a triple shot of espresso and you forgot to refill your blood pressure medication. For the rest of it, let's just wait to see how the studies all shake out and the new MyPlate version stacks up.

Nadine Pazder on Twitter
Nadine Pazder
Nadine Pazder, LDN, RD, lives in Florida and has been in her current position as outpatient dietitian in Clearwater for the past 20 years. She also facilitates diabetes prevention groups for the YMCA in Pinellas County. Connect with her on her blog, How About Them Apples, or on Twitter.