It is no secret that sugar isn’t the healthiest food out there. In fact, in recent years there has been an overwhelming amount of evidence that sugar is actually a leading factor in the rise in obesity across the United States, and that high levels of sugar intake could cause chronic health concerns, from inflammation to type-2 diabetes, and potentially even increasing your risk for developing certain types of cancer.
Your weight loss doctor will encourage you to remove as much sugar from your diet as possible when you embark on any medical weight loss program, as sugar is high in calories and devoid of any nutritional value. But now the campaign against sugar is even stronger, as the federal government released their 2016 recommended dietary guidelines, and sugar was at the top of the do not eat list.
The Federal Government releases dietary guidelines every five years, so the release of this information was highly anticipated by many throughout the health community. Typically, the dietary guidelines will reflect what recent research and nutrition experts have acknowledged as the best nutritional practices, and often the changes in the guidelines are not too drastic from one update to the next, but the way that the 2016 guidelines crack down on sugar is no joke.
Here are the major takeaways from the updated guidelines:
- Americans need to cut back on sugar, a lot.
- Meat consumption should be reduced, as well, especially by teenage boys and men who tend to eat meat at an unprecedented level.
- Limits on suggested dietary cholesterol were formally removed, and instead people are encouraged to simply eat as “little cholesterol as possible”
Plenty of the dietary guidelines stayed the same, however. Still on the federal government’s "yes list" are fruits and vegetables, which the guidelines suggest people should still be eating more of. While it is true that fruits and vegetables have a high sugar content, it is much healthier to be getting your daily sugar consumption from these healthy sources that are also loaded with other vitamins and nutrients.
The updated nutritional guidelines echoed past reports by reminding people to eat a healthy balanced diet, complete with whole grains, plenty of leafy greens, lean proteins and healthy oils.
These guidelines are a great reminder as to what everyone should be keeping in mind as you focus on following a healthy diet, but don’t make any changes to your own medical weight loss plan without first consulting with your weight loss doctor.