Uncovering the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

February 9, 2021

The year wouldn’t have been complete without the release of the much-anticipated 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The purpose of the guidelines is to promote health and help prevent chronic disease. The guidelines recognize that diet-related chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some cancers, are a major public health problem. Its guidance is designed to focus on dietary patterns throughout the lifespan — now providing recommendations from infancy through older adulthood. The Dietary Guidelines recommend four major principles to help Americans achieve a healthy dietary pattern:

1. Follow a healthy dietary pattern at every life stage.

2. Customize and enjoy nutrient-dense food and beverage choices to reflect personal preferences, cultural traditions, and budgetary considerations.

3. Focus on meeting food group needs with nutrient-dense foods and beverages and stay within calorie limits.

4. Limit foods and beverages higher in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium, and limit alcoholic beverages.

Throughout the guidelines, there are important considerations to make when choosing protein supplements. The guidelines state that “healthy dietary patterns include a variety of protein foods in nutrient-dense forms”. About 75% of American meet or exceed the recommendation for meats, poultry and eggs, while more than half do not meet the recommended amounts for nuts, seeds and soy products. Overall, the guidelines state that shifts are needed within the protein foods group to add greater variety among the protein subgroups. This is just one of the many aspects of the guidelines that support plant-forward food and beverage choices.

Special considerations for adults ages 60 and older are also highlighted in the guidelines with a focus on protein intake. Since older adults are at a greater risk for sarcopenia, it is important for this population to consume enough protein to help prevent muscle loss. According to the guidelines, “adults over 80 years, non-Hispanic Asians, and women are at the highest risk for reduced bone mass and muscle strength.” Furthermore, 20% of older adults have reduced muscle strength. About fifty percent of women and 30% of men over the age of 71 are not consuming the recommended amounts of protein. Most older adults are consuming enough meat, poultry and eggs, but other foods like dairy, beans, peas and lentils are under-consumed. This is another area that plant-based options are underconsumed and Americans would benefit from more plant-forward choices. These protein subgroups are important areas for older adults to focus on to help meet their protein needs and prevent age-related muscle loss. “Orgain products can play a valuable role in helping older adults better meet their protein needs from underconsumed protein subgroups like dairy and pea proteins” says Stephanie S. Hodges, MS, MPH, RDN, nutrition policy consultant and founder of The Nourished Principles. “Dairy and plant-based protein powders and shakes are easy and appetizing ways to incorporate more protein to help prevent muscle loss.”

The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting foods and beverages high in added sugars as a guiding principle. They advise that no more than 10% of calories per day should be from added sugars for those over the age of two. Children under the age of two should avoid foods and beverages with added sugar. While the guidelines recommend minimizing added sugar in the diet, they do acknowledge that small amounts of sugar can be added to nutrient-dense foods and beverages to help Americans meet food group recommendations, but foods and beverages high in added sugar should be limited.

Orgain’s unique product formulations focus on good, clean nutrition and deliver delicious products with minimal amounts of added sugar. Orgain’s Organic Plant-Based Protein Powders, Nutritional Shakes, Protein Bars and Protein Pancake Mixes are simple, delicious, and nutrient-dense options to help patients and clients make plant-forward choices by introducing more plant proteins into their diet.

Your work directly with the consumers is essential for translating these guidelines into practice to promote health and prevent chronic diseases. At Orgain, these guidelines are important to us as we continue to craft products that provide good, clean nutrition which helps Americans meet nutrition recommendations. To see the full array of Orgain products, please visit Orgain.com.

Click here to review the complete 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines.

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U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. 9th Edition. December 2020. Available at DietaryGuidelines.gov

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