What Scientists say you should Eat

Individuals have far more control over their health and longevity than they might guess, and a lot of it hinges on what they eat. So the once-every-five-years nutrition guidelines issued recently by the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services deservedly get a lot of attention.

The new advice from our government for the next five years is not Earth-shaking, but it does put a lot of pressure on two poisons that most canned, processed and boxed foods are chock-full of: sugar and salt.

Unfortunately, it’s almost laughable that the new guidelines allow consumers up to 10% of their daily calories from sugar, but it is the first time the government, widely criticized for years now by consumer groups and doctors for being lax, has actually declared that Americans eat far too much sugar and that they should limit their intake. New York’s mayor Michael Bloomberg could have told them that a decade ago.

The guidelines suggest not consuming more than 2,400 mg of sodium (from salt) every day, which some health advocates say is at least twice as much as you should eat. The guidelines do acknowledge that 90% of Americans eat more than 2,400 mg every day.

Possibly because the food industry continues to spend millions of dollars lobbying government agencies, there is no mention in the guidelines of eating less red meat, which is increasingly linked to cancer and heart disease.

Michael F. Jacobson, president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said of the new guidelines:

“The federal government’s basic nutrition advice has remained largely unchanged for the past 35 years. The problem is that the food industry has continued to pressure and tempt us to eat a diet of burgers, pizzas, burritos, cookies, doughnuts, sodas, shakes and other foods loaded with white flour, red and processed meat, salt, saturated fat and added sugars, and not enough vegetables, fruit and whole grains.”

Well, there you have it — almost everyone is in denial of the obvious truth. Meanwhile, you may not be surprised that the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association praised the new guidelines. Meat is a nearly trillion-dollar business in the United States. In 2014, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, the meat lobby spent $10.9 million in political campaign contributions and $6.9 million directly lobbying the federal government.

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A new federal guideline to foods you should eat does not call for limiting consumption beef, much to the consternation of beef the scientists who advised the government. But it does acknowledge that Americans eat far too much salt and sugar.

The insanity of our federal food guidelines is that the Agriculture Department and HHS commissioned a special panel to offer advice and then completely ignored it. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommended flat out that people reduce their consumption of red meat and processed meats, especially beef and pork.

If you really want to know what to eat, you can look over the advisory committee’s report here.

It was put together by an extraordinary team of scientists and is worth reading.

To your health and wealth,

Stephen Petranek
For, The Daily Reckoning

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Stephen Petranek

Stephen Petranek’s career of over 40 years in the publishing world is marked by numerous prizes and awards for excellent writing on science, nature, technology, politics, economics and more. He has been editor-in-chief of the Miami Herald’s prestigious Sunday magazine, Tropic, and has covered a wide range of topics for Time Inc.’s Life magazine. His...

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