What happens when the twin mandates of the USDA to both promote agribusiness and protect our nation’s health come into conflict?
By Evan-Amos (Own work) [CC0 (creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons
The latest dietary guidelines recommend consuming less than 200 mg of cholesterol per day for individuals at high risk of cardiovascular disease. Given that it's the number 1 cause of death in America, that's a pretty sizeable chunk of the population. But if the limit was 200 then how could people ever eat eggs? A single jumbo egg… 234. So you could eat just like celery for the whole rest of the day and still be over the limit.
When the guidelines say limit cholesterol, that’s code for limit eggs and chicken, by far the two largest sources of cholesterol in the American diet.
Now the egg industry argues that “the Dietary Guidelines should avoid any inference that most Americans should consume fewer eggs, an inference that would be misleading to the average consumer.” Seems to be "limit cholesterol" is what's misleading; "consume fewer eggs" would actually be pretty straight forward.
Instead of "Reduce intake sugar-sweetened beverages"—what, 2 cans of coke instead of 3? How about avoid sugar-sweetened beverages. These, after all, are supposed to be dietary guidelines.
In the minds of food corporations there’s no such thing as a bad food, just bad dietary patterns. "We have to get off this good food/bad food dichotomy." This coming from the Salt Institute, which represents pure salt. Instead, argues the Salt Institute president, focus on dietary patterns to “derail the biggest deception and misdirection that has been undertaken by those who would have Americans believe that a single nutrient, a single food, or even a single meat has any health consequences whatever.”
In the same vein, Cadbury— yes, that Cadbury, complained that the dietary guidelines committee had the gall to recommend less frequent consumption of sugar-containing foods. See, we should recognize they say that current lifestyles in the United States are not conducive to supporting a “less frequent” consumption of these foods.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Peter Mellor.
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Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. Be sure to check out all the videos on dietary guidelines and the standard American diet. And be sure not to miss Monday's blog post Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board accused of illegally deceptive claims. And as always, there are 1,449 subjects covered in my other videos–please feel free to explore them!
For some context, please check out my associated blog posts: Dietary Guideline Graphics: From the Food Pyramid to My Plate, Harvard’s Healthy Eating Plate, and PCRM’s Power Plate and Stool Size and Breast Cancer Risk.