Nutrition Faculty Break Down New Dietary Guidelines

March 03, 2016

Dietary Event

Tips for making healthy choices from Simmons experts

Last month, nutrition faculty hosted Dietary Guidelines, Unwrapped, an event for the Simmons community to better understand the guidelines from a panel of nutrition experts including Elizabeth Metallinos-Katsaras, Teresa Fung and Sharon Gallagher.

Dr. Metallinos-Katsaras discussed the origins and goals of the guidelines as well as the multi-step process to develop the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. She also presented the five overarching guidelines, which are to:

  1. Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan.
  2. Focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount.
  3. Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake
  4. Shift to healthier food and beverage choices. 
  5. Support healthy eating patterns for all.

The new guidelines weren’t without controversy, and Dr. Fung touched on what was omitted including reducing the intake of red and processed meats. She provided scientific evidence linking red/processed meat with colorectal cancer and diabetes. Professor Gallagher talked about the role of dietitians play in translating message to the public and outlined what healthy eating patterns look like and tips on how to limit sugars and saturated fats.

The event wrapped up with what Simmons nutrition faculty collectively wish had also been included in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans: 

  • Limit red and processed meats, like beef, lamb, pork, cold cuts, bacon, sausage and hot dogs
  • Emphasize plant proteins, like beans, soy, seeds and nuts
  • More specific advice on limiting added sugars in our diets
  • Eat sustainably-plant based, minimally processed and locally sourced when possible 

As well as some general advice for healthy eating:

  • Whole healthy diet is greater than the sum of its parts
  • Focus on foods rather than nutrients
  • Eat for health and for the long run
  • Any dietary advice consumers take to heart will probably lead to improved health 

March is National Nutrition Month! Learn more.