MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Every five years, the US Department of Health, and US Department of Agriculture jointly publish updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and 2015 is one of those years. The guidelines include detailed advice experts say you should follow to make the best health choices for your family. They affect everything you're told about nutrition; from advice from your doctor about what to keep in your fridge, to what your kids may be served in school.
One focus in the report involves sugar: "Number one, they're finally putting a limit on how much sugar we should get every day," says Dr. Sharon Thompson, Professor of Health Promotion at Coastal Carolina University. "Previously it just said 'limit added sugars', and now they're suggesting that we limit added sugars to 10 percent of our calories." Added sugars provide no nutritional benefit to food, they are put in simply to improve taste.
Nutrition experts say this year could has the potential to be a turning pivotal point for Americans who are becoming more health-conscious. Another possible change comes in the form of the American daily caffeine kick. "They are saying that for the otherwise healthy adult, 3 to 5 cups of coffee a day may actually be good for our health," Dr. Thompson continues. In fact, it could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's Disease and heart disease. There is, of course a minor catch, Dr. Thompson says. "You can't add sugar and cream to your coffee cause then you really negate the positive health effects."
Another very significant change discussed involves what you serve your family every night at dinner. "They're spelling this out even firmer this time that we should really have more of a plant based diet, the number one consumed vegetable we get is a French fry, and that does not necessarily have the highest nutritional value."
Dr. Thompson mentions while this report has been released, the final guidelines won't come out until the end of the year, so it's possible the guidelines will be different or not include some of these changes.