I love a Mountain Dew and a burger as much as the next person, but c’mon. Representatives of the meat industry are calling a 571-page report published by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) ‘flawed’ and ‘nonsensical.’

Soda makers are saying high intensity sweeteners “can be an effective tool in weight loss.”

Ha! This is great. Soda as an effective tool for weight loss? Sweet.

You can read the full report here, but here’s the main takeaway. “A healthy dietary pattern is higher in vegetables, whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy, seafood, legumes, and nuts,” says the report, “[It’s] moderate in alcohol (among adults); lower in red and processed meats; and low in sugar-sweetened foods and drinks and refined grains.” Basically, what we all know is healthy.

The report did pull a 180 on decades old statements to limit your intake of cholesterol. Turns out there is no link between eating foods heavy with cholesterol (think eggs) and health issues.

The DGAC also gave the go-ahead for your Starbucks fix. Drinking three to five cups of coffee a day “is not associated with increased long-term health risks.” But, Americans do like to go big. That three to five cups is more like two or three servings from Starbucks. We never are good with serving sizes.

While coffee got the green light, the same can’t be said for energy drinks. The panel said adolescents should drink them sparingly, but it would be better if they didn’t drink them at all. As for adults, the DGAC recommended against consuming energy drinks and alcohol together.

Besides telling us what we all know (knock out sweets, eat more veggies), the report also highlighted the meat industry as an environmental concern. “Current evidence shows that the average U.S. diet has a larger environmental impact in terms of increased greenhouse gas emissions, land use, water use and energy use.”

The report continues, “this is because the current U.S. population intake of animal-based foods is higher and plant-based foods are lower.”

Yeah, the meat industry wasn’t too happy with the panel’s jump into environmental impacts. They called the panel’s “foray into the murky waters of sustainability” as “well beyond its scope and expertise.

The meat and soda industry’s criticism of this report isn’t surprising. After all, they companies who are more concerned with profitability than anything else.

Now that the report is out there, what’s next? The panel doesn’t have any legal authority, but the government will more than likely adopt their guidelines.


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