There has been a lot of press coverage of the new US government's nutritional guidelines, but it's focused almost entirely on sodium. Finding the actual documents to see what's there is not as simple as one would expect. (They're here. It's 2.9 megs. in size.) I took some time to look them over and found a few surprises, such as addressing veganism and not using a "food pyramid" approach.
The guidelines call for Americans to eat more fruit, eat more vegetables, eat more whole grains, eat more beans and peas, eat more fish, eat more low-fat dairy products, eat more protein... but still eat less overall and exercise more. That hasn't changed much.
The sodium upper limit is still 2300 mg./day, unless one has a risk factor for hypertension (including being over 50 years old), and then it drops to 1500 mg. Considering that the minimum for optimum health is probably 900 mg., this is upper limit is fairly tight.
More interesting to me is that the allowable daily ingested cholesterol limit has been raised to 300 mg. This is undoubtedly due to evidence that cholesterol manufactured by the body as a function of fat intake, particularly saturated fat and trans fat intake, is more important to serum cholesterol levels than is dietary cholesterol consumption, but the fact that eggs are now said to have less cholesterol (and more vitamin D) than previously causes me to wonder if the egg council has had some influence here.
The guidelines have been adapted by age and gender for the first time and there's some interesting discussion of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (one needs at most 1.6g. and 17g., respectively) and vitamin D sources (which are listed in mg. and not International Units, causing me to have to do conversions in my head, to see what, if anything, has changed).
While the guidelines aren't particularly interesting in themselves, it is interesting to see what the focus is (decreasing obesity and heart disease and some cancers) and what's new, to see where people's interests lie at the moment. The guidelines seem to reflect the popular press's obsessions of the day.
2 days ago