Although it can be a bit challenging to keep up with ever-evolving dietary recommendations, new research is always shedding light on what's healthy—so, in this case, change is a good thing! It’s for this same reason that every five years the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee comes together to review and suggest amendments to the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Earlier this week, they released their report, which topped out at a staggering 571 pages. Much of it covered common-sense suggestions, but other guidelines were a bit more eyebrow-raising.
Enjoy More Coffee
For the first time ever, the Committee looked at caffeine. The final verdict? Coffee gets two thumbs up! They say a cup of joe can be part of healthy diet and may even help reduce the risk of heart disease, Parkinson’s disease and type 2 diabetes. But, sorry PSL-lovers, your go-to drink doesn’t make the cut; the panel warns against coffee concoctions with added calories from cream, milk and sugars. It’s not all bad news: If you’re a fan of those little blue packets of sweetener, you’ll be glad to hear that the report gives you the go-ahead to enjoy aspartame in moderation.
Raise a Glass
Alcohol has also been given the green light. Obviously this doesn’t mean you should take up drinking if it’s not already apart of your lifestyle, and no upping your Happy Hour attendance to reap the potential health benefits. They do confirm that moderate alcohol intake can be a component of a healthy diet, though. We’ll cheers to that!
Crack an Egg or Two
The panel also dropped their longstanding recommendation that we should limit dietary cholesterol. Decades of research have shown that it has little effect on blood cholesterol levels, and the government's outdated recommendations have done little more than send scrambled messages about the pros and cons of eating eggs and shrimp. So go ahead and scramble up an omelet—with the yolk—it’s not going to hurt you.
Will the The Agriculture and Health and Human Services Departments take all these recommendations to heart? Or will these surprising suggestions get the boot? We’ll have to wait until the end of the year—when the official guidelines are released—to find out.