Every five years the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Health and Human Services work together and create new dietary guidelines for Americans. Today, the guidelines for 2020-2025 were released and policymakers, as well as nutrition and health professionals, will use the information to make nutritional recommendations.
What is the purpose of the dietary guidelines?
The aim is to promote health and prevent disease. State and local governments, schools, the food industry, other businesses, community groups, and media also use Dietary Guidelines information to develop programs, policies, and communication for the general public. It also shapes the USDA’s MyPlate, which is a current nutrition guide published by the USDA‘s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion and is comprised of a graphic depicting a place setting with a plate and glass divided into five food groups.
Have the guidelines changed over time?
The guidelines have remained fairly consistent over the years. They build on new and evolving scientific knowledge. The guidelines focus on four specific areas: 1) Follow a healthy dietary pattern at every life stage. 2) Customize and enjoy nutrient-dense food to reflect personal choices and budgetary concerns. 3) Focus on meeting food group recommendations 4) Limit foods high in sugar, alcohol, sodium, and saturated fats.
So . . . How have the new guidelines affected agriculture?
The good news is the protein portion of the guidelines recommend dairy, lean proteins, poultry, eggs, seafood, beans, peas, nuts, seeds, and lentils. As a farmer, nothing excites me more than knowing we are producing healthy food and we meet the latest nutritional needs. Weare able to meet these requirements by using current scientific research and working very closely with experts that allow us to produce a high-quality protein source.
As a pig farmer, we are proud that we are producing a lean protein–pork. We meet the new dietary guidelines! Pork is a lean, nutrient-dense protein and perfect for most people’s diets.
Did you know?
While providing greater amounts of vitamins and minerals, many cuts of pork are as lean or leaner than chicken. If you are interested in finding nutritious pork recipes, check out Yummly. You can find other nutritious recipes in MyPlate Kitchen.
My plate educational resources
Minnesota Ag in the Classroom has numerous educational lessons and resources that focus on agriculture and food and the MyPlate recommendations. They are free for anyone to use. Please check them out!