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01/15/2021

FDA releases dietary guidelines

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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The Food and Drug Administration is continuing its focus on helping consumers make healthier food decisions.

Last year, the FDA updated the Nutrition Facts Label, highlighting pertinent information in the label, and has now added some new tools such as the release of its latest edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025 and an interactive tool called My Plate.

The updated label aims to provide important nutrition information about packaged food and drinks, including serving size and calories in a bolder font, and the addition of added sugars, vitamin D and potassium. Manufacturers must declare the amount of those in addition to percent Daily Value for vitamins and minerals.

The FDA said the updated label can be used by consumers to monitor calories to help choose portion sizes and when shopping for groceries be used to compare items, looking at items with higher dietary fiber, vitamin D, calcium, iron and potassium on the label, for example.

The My Plate interactive tool is a way for consumers to adjust meals to fit the five food groups (vegetables, fruits, grains, protein foods and dairy).

The My Plate app has daily food goals, challenges and almost a gamification of planning healthy meals, there are recipes, resources and more. 

The Dietary Guidelines helps lay out a healthy plan for consumers infant age to older adulthood. The 164 page manual highlights things such as percentages of sugars, saturated fats and sodium to maintain in a low-calorie diet, suggestions around alcohol intake, and goes through dietary recommendations across all age groups.