News from The Director of Dietary – Laurene Ortowski
October 04, 2016
New Dietary Guidelines for Americans was released January 7, 2016 by the Federal government. These new guidelines are designed to help reduce obesity and prevent chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. The overarching message stresses that all we eat or drink over our lifetime makes a difference in our health and includes steps that can improve our health! The guidelines are a joint effort between the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture. An update is issued every five years based on current nutrition science.
The following key recommendations contain specific nutritional targets and dietary limits. The message is clear – more fruits, vegetable, whole grains, lean meat and less saturated fat. To consume a healthy eating pattern that accounts for all foods and beverages within an appropriate calorie level, it is best to consume:
A variety of vegetables from all of the subgroups-dark green, red and orange legumes (beans and peas), starchy and fruits
Grains at least half of which are whole grains
Fat-free/low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese and fortified soy beverages
A variety of protein foods including seafood, lean meats, poultry, eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds, soy products and oils
Added sugars: consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from added sugars
Saturated fats: consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from saturated fats
Sodium: consume less than 2,300mg per day of sodium
Alcohol in moderation
Our dietician, Charmaine Lee-Pow Thompson, worked with me to develop new Resident menus to meet the new guidelines. Our new menus include a variety of vegetable from all subgroups of dark green, red and orange as well as beans, pears and starchy vegetables. Also added were whole grain, breads and pasta.