New dietary guidelines: lean meat in, sugar out

New dietary guidelines: lean meat in, sugar out

Amarillo, TX -  Lean meat is now back on the dinner table, at least as a healthy recommendation from the federal government.

Thursday, finalized dietary guidelines were released that will influence policy from school lunches to what your doctor recommends for the next five years.

The original proposal back in February left out lean, red meat as a healthy recommendation. That did not sit well with Texas agriculture leaders.

The Texas Cattle Feeders Association (TCFA) had a beef with the proposed dietary guidelines that did not include lean meat as a healthy protein option like years past.

After backlash from the meat industry, including Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, cutting out lean meat did not make the draft's final cut.

"I'm very pleased the secretaries went back and reviewed the large body of science that does exist supporting lean meats like beef in a healthy dietary pattern," said Jennifer Leheska, a dietitian for TCFA.

Although lean meat is in, consuming a lot of sugar is out. New this year, the guidelines say added sugar should be just 10 percent of your daily calorie intake. To put that into perspective, that means you can have about 12 teaspoons of sugar. Just one can of soda has nearly 10.

"Basically it highlights to the population just how much sugar we are even consuming," said Leheska. "I think people probably don't recognize how much they are consuming and with the change and shift in how we eat these days, you're simply able to get a whole lot of sugar without even knowing it."

The guidelines also say you should only have about one teaspoon of salt a day. Many of the other recommendations remain the same. They say keep eating your veggies, fruits, whole grains, low or non-fat dairy, seafood and nuts.

To read the full dietary guidelines, click here.

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