They're finally here!

I woke up at 6:30 AM this morning and weighed myself: 149.6 pounds, right in the middle of my goal weight.  I've been working on my life style changes, more exercise and less food, since May 2009 and, although I bounce up and down 2-3 pounds, I'm basically lean.

Breakfast was a quart of "lime water" (I squeeze fresh limes three times a day), a cup of regular coffee for Lynnette and of Cafix for me (a blend of barley, rye, chicory and sugar beets; I avoid caffeine), a banana and a home-made oatmeal dish with millet, brown sugar, sunflower seeds, walnuts, and ground flaxseed to complement the commercial oatmeal. There's no salt in any of the above and we added fat-free milk (Lynnette) or soy milk (Peter) to our oatmeal. We'll eat our big meal of the day at noon and at home.

The Wall Street Journal's Personal Journal section had an article titled "New Dietary Guidelines: Less Food, Less TV." The June 2010 DGAC version from the advisory committee of sceintists and nutrition experts had gone through the expected round of commentary, largely from food indusrty sources and the final products, as always is considerably watered down. You can find it online at if you want to read the entire document, or skim through portions.

So here's a section of what it says:

• Reduce daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) and further reduce intake to 1,500 mg among persons who are 51 and older and those of any age who are African American or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease. The 1,500 mg recommendation applies to about half of the U.S. population, including children, and the majority of adults.

• Consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fatty acids by replacing them with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. • Limit the consumption of foods that contain refined grains, especiallyrefined grain foods that contain solid fats, added sugars, and sodium.

How do we translate that into simple English? More than 1/2 your plateful should be vegetables and fruits, buy lower salt products and don't add any when you cook or at the table; eat less red meat. Eat real food, not food products; read labels carefully when you shop. I'd add: eat out less and exercise more.

I read Dr, David Katz's column, "New Dietary Guidelines: A Physician's Perspective" on the website (Katz is the Director of Yale's Prevention Research Center). He agrees that the feedback gave a politicized spin to the final document, but liked the new emphasis on obesity and chronic disease prevention (roughly 1/6 of our kids and 1/3 of our adults are obese). He didn't care as much for the continued emphasis on dairy and meat consumption with less attention paid to plant-based diets.

So this version of the Dietary Guidelines isn't all that much different from prior versions, unless you read carefully and, in some cases, between the lines. I found a section (Chapter one, page 3) on "The Heavy Toll of Diet-related Chronic Diseases that I'll comment on at another time.

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