The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
were developed with the ultimate goal to improve the health of our Nation by
promoting healthy eating and physical activity. Important information regarding
our nation’s current health is pointed out in the guidelines, including the
fact that many children are consuming too many calories and not enough
nutrients. This issue remains a primary focus due to the overwhelming evidence
that proper nutrition, including adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals, is
vital at every stage of life.
One of the many approaches taken to promote
healthier eating included a section titled “Foods and Nutrients to Increase.”
This section emphasized including more fruits, vegetables, whole grains,
low-fat dairy, seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy
products, unsalted nuts and seeds, and oils into the diet. Maintaining this
balance of food groups will ensure adequate vitamin and mineral intake for
proper body functioning. This section also discusses nutrients of public health
concern, including potassium, dietary fiber, calcium, and vitamin D.
There has also been emphasis on obtaining all
necessary nutrients from whole foods for many reasons:
- Whole food provides greater nutrition than
supplements. Whole foods are complex and contain many micro-nutrients that your
- Whole foods, including whole grains, fruits,
vegetables, and legumes contain essential fiber. High fiber foods are also
packed with essential nutrients.
- Fruits and vegetables contain protective
substances called phytochemicals. These substances may help protect against
cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 2010. Available at: www.dietaryguidelines.gov. Accessed
February 28, 2012.
Nutrition in a pill? Mayo Clinic. 2011. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/supplements/NU00198.
Accessed February 27, 2012.