Draft nutrition rules tell you what we’ve been saying: Drink coffee!

The U.S. is in the process of updating its official dietary guidelines, and the initial recommendations have been released telling you all what we keep saying: Coffee is good for you.

Here’s NPR’s take:

If you like a cup of coffee and an egg in the morning, you’ve got the green light.

A panel of top nutrition experts appointed by the federal government has weighed in with its long-awaited diet advice.

Their conclusions are that daily cup of joe (or two) may help protect against Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. And an egg a day will not raise the risk of heart disease in healthy people. Hold the sugary muffin, though.

More generally, the guidelines encourage more fruit and vegetables — both for health reasons and because they are more sustainable than something like red meat. Another big focus is: Cut sugar. And that’s not easy because there is so much sugar hidden in foods — in condiments, in sauces, in cereals, sort of everywhere.

If you’re feeling skeptical about these government-endorsed suggestions, there’s reason. The New York Times sums it up nicely:

Since they were first issued in 1980, the guidelines have largely encouraged people to follow a low-fat diet, which prompted an explosion of processed foods stripped of fat and loaded with sugar. Studies show that replacing fat with refined carbohydrates like bread, rice and sugar can actually worsen cardiovascular health, so the guidelines encourage Americans to focus not on the amount of fat they are eating but on the type.

The guidelines advise people to eat unsaturated fat — the kind found in fish, nuts, and olive and vegetable oils — in place of saturated fat, which occurs primarily in animal foods.

The panel also dropped a longstanding recommendation that Americans restrict their intake of dietary cholesterol from foods like eggs and shrimp — a belated acknowledgment of decades of research showing that dietary cholesterol has little or no effect on the blood cholesterol levels of most people.

This time, though, they are moving toward what in our household holds true: limited processed foods, lots of vegetables (raw usually) and no real fear of eggs or even butter.

The guidelines now go through a 45-day public comment period. NPR says the updated guidelines will be released by the end of the year.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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