Tag Archives: Dietary Guidelines

Remember the Microbiome!

Human Food Project

Human Food Project!

Hey everyone! This is going to be a really quick post because this week is a little crazy, but I wanted to tell you about a petition that I really think you should sign! It only takes about 30 seconds, and if you care at all about the health or well-being of yourself, your friends and family, or other Americans, this pertains to you. If you DON’T care about the health or well-being of yourself, your friends and family, or other Americans, then you should probably find a different blog to read.

I’m going to do a much bigger post (probably a series) on the human microbiome in the future, because it’s truly a fascinating topic, and one that is near and dear to my heart. There are countless microbes hanging out in your gut at this very moment, and the makeup of your gut flora can largely determine whether you suffer from obesity or diabetes, chronic inflammation, or a weak immune system, not to mention the more obvious connection with digestive health. You can visit the Human Food Project website for tons of information on the human microbiome.

Anyways, back to the petition! This is a petition to make sure that the next edition of the Dietary Guidelines, set to be released in 2015, address gut flora and the microbiome. As you can see from the above links, your gut flora essentially determines whether you’re healthy or you aren’t, so don’t you think it deserves a mention in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans? I’d hazard a guess that the vast majority of Americans don’t even realize they have a microbiome, much less that it could be the reason they’re obese and diabetic. So please, take 30 seconds and sign the petition so that we can make sure the 2015 Dietary Guidelines address the human microbiome!

Policy Brief: Reforming the Dietary Guidelines

This is also a project from this semester, this time from my public policy class. I decided to post it because it’s also on the Dietary Guidelines, and you’ll likely be hearing about them a lot on this blog! It was a bit challenging to write because while there’s plenty of research on what the problem is, there really isn’t any research on possible solutions. So I had to come up with solutions on my own, and because of my limited policy knowledge, I have no idea if they’re even feasible. But I got a good grade, so I guess that’s something (:

Executive SummaryScreen Shot 2012-12-25 at 5.21.04 PM

This policy brief examines the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a policy that began in 1980 and mandates the periodic release of federal nutritional guidance. Based on the rising rates of obesity and the pervasiveness of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, it is clear that the Dietary Guidelines have not achieved their goal of reducing the risk of chronic disease in Americans. In fact, research indicates that the Dietary Guidelines could actually be contributing to the current epidemics of obesity and diabetes. This is for three reasons: the Dietary Guidelines often exclude or misrepresent scientific evidence; the Guidelines have had unintended consequences for industry and consumer behavior; and the Guidelines cannot adequately address a diverse population with different nutritional needs. Read more →

Why The Dietary Guidelines are Wrong about Cholesterol

This is a research paper that I wrote for my English class this semester. I wanted to share it on this blog because it’s about eggs, cholesterol, and the Dietary Guidelines, three things that definitely impact the ancestral health community! 

Abstracthappy eggs

With rising rates of obesity and diabetes, most Americans feel more pressure than ever to make the right food choices. However, the country’s primary source of nutritional guidance – the Dietary Guidelines for Americans – has been criticized for being misleading, inaccurate, and potentially harmful to public health. In this paper, I present eggs as a ‘case study’ to strengthen the criticisms that others have brought against the Dietary Guidelines. The Guidelines advocate limiting egg consumption because of their high cholesterol content. However, having reviewed the scientific literature on cholesterol and health, I conclude that there is no documented health benefit to limiting dietary cholesterol. Additionally, eggs are an excellent source of choline, a nutrient that is sorely lacking in the diets of most Americans. For these reasons, the Dietary Guidelines should actually encourage egg consumption, rather than limit it.

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