Green Giant Fresh Blog

Understanding the New Dietary Guidelines for Americans

If you’re the cook in your house, check this out: The seventh edition of the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans has been published and is now available online, offering nutritional information — backed by evidence — with the goal of promoting good health and reducing the risk of disease. And because a third of our children and more than two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, this latest edition puts a bigger emphasis on reducing calories and increasing exercise, in addition to improving nutrition.

Not at all surprising within the 60-page guidelines is an emphasis on eating fresh produce and fruits with every meal. In fact, the new guidelines suggest that we should eat four or more cups of vegetables and fruit each day — far surpassing the average of less than two cups currently consumed by most Americans.

Near the top of the 23 key suggestions is a recommendation that we all take seriously the importance of eating more fruits and vegetables. In particular, the guidelines suggest vegetables that are dark green (such as Green Giant Fresh Spinach, Green Giant Fresh Broccoli, and Green Giant Fresh Romaine), red and orange in color, as well as whole grains, beans and peas; and, that more than half the food on your plate should be fresh produce or fruit.

There are three reasons why we should be eating more fresh produce and fruit, according to the report:

  • First, these foods contribute a number of nutrients that are under-consumed. These include folate (natural folic acid), magnesium, potassium, dietary fiber, and vitamins A, C and K.61.
  • Secondly, eating your greens reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke, and some vegetables and fruit may protect against certain types of cancer.
  • And third, most fresh produce and fruits are relatively low in calories when prepared without added fat or sugars. That, of course, helps children and adults achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

The new guidelines also suggest Americans greatly reduce their intake of sugar, salt and solid fats such as butter and stick margarine, and increase their intake of seafood, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Keeping in mind that these tips are designed to help you and your loved ones reach a healthy weight and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer, is just smart! To get a copy of the entire report, visit the Dietary Guidelines for American’s page on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.


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  1. [...] we reported in early-April, the latest edition of the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans is now available, and this week the U.S. Department of Agriculture unveiled its new food icon — [...]

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