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The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

What To Eat Or Not To Eat

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The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which provide nutritional recommendations and are the basic guideline for federal food programs such as MyPlate, are updated every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). 

The process begins with the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), a group of nominated individuals, reviewing current nutritional research. They then draft a scientific report that the USDA and HHS use to develop the final guidelines. 

The 2020 DGAC has recently released their 2020-2025 dietary guideline draft for Americans, and the final stage of the Dietary Guidelines will come out soon.

            The composition of the advisory committee is always interesting, as there are a number of vegans or vegetarians on the board. This is alright, but they always seem to condemn red meat. There are some on the board who discourage eating red meat because they think livestock are bad for out planet. So the board is not without politics, on all sides.

            We realize processed foods, processed meats, saturated fat, salt and sugar in daily use can be harmful for our health. However, if consumed in moderation, maybe they are not so bad. 

            First of all, we don’t like the government telling us what to eat and what not to eat. That choice is ours to make, and we’ll make the best choice we can.

            It seems if a study comes out against a particular food type, pretty soon there will be another study saying the opposite. 

A while back, I was watching the local morning news and, they were showing a national piece on how much red meat to eat a week. They said it was safe to only eat three ounces of red meat a week or six ounces every two weeks. Three ounces of meat is fish bait. 

Come to find out, it was a study that came out 10 years ago and has since been proved wrong. 

            The DGAC has recognized red meat as a nutritious product and encourages lean cuts of red meat in the American diet, which is easy to do these days.

            “Common characteristics of dietary patterns associated with positive health outcomes” was a common theme throughout the study, and we all try to live by it. 

As we walk through the grocery stores, it seems about half of the products are bad for us. Capitalism and advertising are responsible for those products selling. Capitalism is good, but it does give those the right to sell junk such as all of the energy drinks we see these days. 

We certainly want to protect this right, so we rely on common sense and good labeling to educate ourselves on how to recognize what is good or bad for us. These dietary guidelines are just that, guidelines. Lately we have been questioning them because of all the politics and personal preference’s involved.

            When the final guidelines do come out, it will be big news for a while as they are cursed and praised. We will read them and then soon forget about them for another five years.

            I’ve lost a few pounds lately, and when asked how I did it, I reply, “I eat less.” What a novel idea. 

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