Reaction to Dietary Guidelines Mostly Positive

A few concerns voiced about wording of recommendations.

Published on: Feb 1, 2011

The National Pork Board believes the new dietary guidelines show that animal proteins are essential to the diet, as meat provides vital nutrients such as iron and vitamin B12 which many Americans lack. The Pork Board points out that pork, in particular, is a lean, low-calorie, nutrient-rich protein which can help with weight control. In fact, recent studies show eating lean meats such as pork can lead to weight loss by reducing hunger sensations, helping people feel full and preserving lean muscle mass.

The National Pork Producers Council also agrees with the guidelines. NPPC President Sam Carney, a pork producer from Adair, Iowa, says many cuts of lean pork, including tenderloin and loin chops, contain quality nutrients.  Carney says the solution to the obesity problem is not a shift from animal-based foods to plant-based ones but rather a shift from nutrient-poor foods to nutrient-rich foods, emphasizing the consumption of lean meats, including pork, along with vegetables, nuts and beans.

United Fresh is also happy with the guidelines, especially the call to make half your plate fruits and vegetables. They say this is the strongest message ever to come from USDA and HHS and the half a plate visual lets Americans know exactly how to picture the amount of fruits and vegetables they should eat at every meal.

According to Dr. Lorelei DiSogra, United Fresh vice president of nutrition and health, the 2010 DGA provides clearer guidance to Americans that, no matter what their age or calorie intake requirement, everyone needs to strive to have fruits and vegetables make up half of what they eat at each meal. She says putting fruits and vegetables front and center is a critical step toward creating a healthier America.

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association was pleased by the recommendation that Americans establish a nutrient dense diet.  Richard Thorpe a rancher and medical doctor from Texas says lean beef contributes to a well- balanced, nutrient dense diet.

"When reading these guidelines, consumers need to realize that protein-packed lean beef accompanied by an increase in fruits and vegetables translates into a healthy choice. These guidelines reinforce the fact that Americans are over fed, yet undernourished," said Thorpe on behalf of NCBA. "Lean beef is a nutrient-rich food that, on average, provides 10 essential nutrients provided in only 154 calories. The guidelines are calling for a well-balanced diet and lean beef is a good place to start."

One concern NCBA expressed was that by calling for moderate amounts of lean meat, USDA may confuse some consumers who assume this means we are over consuming red meat. Shalene McNeill, Ph.D., R.D. and executive director, human nutrition research at NCBA pointed out that the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee uncovered a striking finding:  Over the last four decades, Americans have consumed nearly 200 calories more each day from flour and cereal products while calories from meat, eggs and nuts have remained virtually unchanged.