Ready for your faux outrage of the day? The US Dietary Guidelines will release later this year, and evidently the campaign contribution checks have just cleared the bank.

Fat is back. Once derided by scientists and public health officials, the new dietary guidelines will state there is no health benefit to limiting dietary fat in your diet. In 2005 and 2010, the recommendation was fat should not make up more than 20 to 25 percent of your daily calories.

You’re thinking this means I can have at the morning cheese danish (ok, so it’s a nightly one too)? Of course, there’s a catch. Levels of saturated fat still have the recommended cap of 10 percent of your daily caloric intake. Foods that include saturated fat are butter, cheese, beef and whole milk. The food that tastes awesome….

Barbara Millen, chair of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, remarked on the revision. “We wanted the emphasis to be on fat quality rather than total fat because the evidence really emphasizes that saturated fat is the driver of risk rather than total fat intake.”

Reducing saturated fat could lower your risk of heart disease if it is replaced with a ‘good fat.’ Think soybean and corn oil, and fatty fish such as salmon. Monounsaturated fats were also given the nod from the committee as potentially good for your health. Olive and peanut oil are both in this category.

The Saturated Fat Outrage

America can’t tie its shoe without a demonstration, so why should this be any different? The petition from North American Meant Institute has the rallying cry of ‘Hands off my hot dog.’

dietary guidelines

Really? That’s your cry? Why not hands off my ribeye? Hot dogs are the only ‘meat’ you eat and later wonder why the hell did I eat that? Make the rallying cry something we can get behind.

Republicans sense a rare opportunity to cook up some controversy. Two competing bills in the House and Senate would move the goalposts for the Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Services when changing the guidelines.

It doesn’t address the meat question but wants the departments to only consider diet and nutrition when considering the reports from the advisory committee. It wants only the ‘strongest science’ considered over the ‘moderate science’ regarding plant-based diets.

Rep. Robert Aderholt (AL) spoke to the AP on the bill in the House. The goal of the legislation “should not be to ‘dumb down’ the standards but instead increase the science certainty of each guideline.”

A Congressman wanting to listen to science? Someone write down the date for this once in a millennia occurrence.

Common Sense Approach

Your diet comes down to common sense. You’ll never hear your primary care doctor tell you to eat more garbage. Instead, balance it out with vegetables, fruit, fats and others. If you’re picking between processed foods or a steak, go with the steak.

Nutritional experts say the effect of saturated fat may be neutral. The fat increases both bad and good cholesterol. Now, does that mean you take that as a personal challenge to rip through the meat counter? Of course not.

In the end, it’s all about moderation. Eat actual serving sizes and sensibly. Every diet and nutrition plan is personal. The guidelines are just that. Guidelines.

Will the guidelines cause controversy when they are finally released? Definitely. Why? It’s America. If we aren’t on Twitter or Facebook laying claim to Freedom Hot Dogs, we’re doing it wrong.

Me? Who is down for grilled steaks? Let’s throw down and celebrate the Fourth of July right. Hot dogs? Ehhh…


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