My Favorite Part of the Dietary Guidelines

By Jenna A. Bell, PhD, RD, CSSD

Healthy vegetables for dietary guidelines

Dietary Guidelines gives you good ideas!

The Dietary Guidelines policy report is long.  And it’s kind of like a textbook, so I’m not sure many people will be compelled to read it – regardless of whether or not you are snowed in.  But the thing is, I may have poo-poo’d (sp?) it in my last post, but have actually found it to be quite thorough, comprehensive and even useful.  I was skeptical because of the word “policy” and the word “report” and because national recommendations are often too broad and esoteric.  They are rarely “user-friendly”.  That said, I still don’t think that anyone needs to read the report cover to cover, but there are some ideas you can take straight to the market (or even dinner).  Just flip to the appendices (or click on it to download the PDF).

While the appendices gives you lots of numbers that may cause blindness if studied for too long, it has a noteworthy table titled, “Key consumer behaviors and potential strategies for professionals to use…”, blah, blah, you get the idea.  Well, it’s great.  It walks through each of the main points of the guidelines…well, it’s more like walking through each of main parts of your diet…and gives tips and strategies that you can apply.  Ideas you can really use.  It doesn’t say, “eat more polyunsaturated fat” and then leave you hanging…it tells you what foods they are referring to and how to make them work with your lifestyle.  It says stuff like, “replace meat or poultry with seafood twice per week.”  Now that’s a goal that makes sense to me.

It certainly doesn’t do all that a dietitian can do (so I still recommend tapping a professional for top notch nutrition expertise), but it will help.  Don’t delay:  Check out the appendix of the policy report (  It may help you figure out what to have for dinner!

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