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News from The Director of Dietary – Laurene Ortowski

October 4th, 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.

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