Nutrition Highlights of Interest

Hi friends! I’ll be back with recent fitness/food adventures tomorrow, but for now, a couple things of note.

1) It’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. As someone who works regularly with clients struggling with a range of disordered eating, from mild to full blown, I am very passionate about bringing light to this issue. Operation Beautiful did a great round up of all the virtual events going on this week and how you can get involved: click here to see it. Today’s focus is on athletes, who are at a higher risk of developing an eating disorder.

2) There’s a great article in the New York Times talking about the better science that is going into developing the new 2015 dietary guidelines, which will be released later this year.

Here are the main takeaway points – glad to see the national recommendations moving in the right direction!

  • Dietary fat and cholesterol have not been proven to impact mortality rates; as such, low fat diets should not be recommended! Especially when that fat is being replaced by extra carbs. Also, stop eating egg whites! Embrace the whole egg and all the nutrition provided by the egg yolk. (For more on my opinion on this issue, see a guest post I wrote awhile ago: Why This Dietitian Eats More Fat.)
  • Cutting down on salt doesn’t help to reduce mortality – and in fact, taking in too little salt can be quite dangerous. I still like buying low/lower salt versions of packaged foods when applicable and adding my own salt, simply because of taste preference, but there’s no reason to stress about the salt shaker, especially if you’re eating mostly a whole, real food diet. Matt and I love adding fun salts to our meals; I’m particularly into truffle salt lately. Yum!

In my opinion, the 2015 guidelines could basically be boiled down to Michael Pollan’s famous recommendation: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” If your grandparents wouldn’t consider it food, it’s not food. The easiest thing you can do to improve your diet is not to count grams of this or calories in that, but to simply add more veggies and color to your meals and to look not at nutrition facts but at ingredient labels. Is the ingredient list short and full of things you recognize? Great. If not, don’t buy it, or at least don’t make it the majority of your diet. (Because, of course, we shouldn’t always eat perfectly. :) ) Eating well doesn’t need to be as complicated as we’ve made it, my friends!


  1. 1

    Anne, I just LOVE your blog and all your advice. You seem to know just what I’m wondering about. I was just thinking about salt today. My blood pressure is normal, and I eat very little processed foods or restaurant/take-out foods, but I like to add a fair amount of salt when I’m cooking or to air-popped popcorn. Your advice is timely!

    And I love your insight on fat! I lost a lot of weight with weight watchers and didn’t really cut down my fat all that much. I just focused on eating the right kinds (mostly olive and canola oils, and avocados, butter for flavor). Fat and protein go so far to keep me full for hours!

    • 2

      Thank you so much for reading! Glad my post was timely for you regarding the salt issue. :) Sounds like you are definitely on the right track with your food – keep it up!

  2. 3

    Man I love salt (sidenote). I definitely try and adopt a more whole foods approach to eating–the whole “shop the perimeter” at the store and whatnot. It’s so much easier and once I stopped looking at labels (except the ingredients), things got much less stressful. I know the foods I should and should not be eating and that’s what I try and stick with! That being said, there’s always room for gelato :)

  3. 5

    Thanks for sharing, this is such an important topic! Agree 100% to grabbing whole, real foods to reset your hunger cues and your body seems to know how to take care of the rest for you. Thanks for posting about this!

  4. 6

    Thanks Anne! Isn’t it amazing how the food guidelines change over time. It’s really great to see some recognition for a balanced, real food diet.

  5. 7

    It’s so refreshing to see the dietary guidelines moving in such a positive direction! I’m hoping this leads to more people understanding the importance of real, whole foods and emphasizing them in their diets. I’m all for not making eating into a numbers game!

  6. 8

    I absolutely love your nutrition philosophy! All of the dieticians I have experienced have focused on calories / strict amounts of certain food groups, so this is awesome to see. A big ol’ bowl of plants is exactly what I’m craving now!

  7. 9

    So glad to hear yet another RD say that carbs are good! I hear so many people bad mouthing carbs but – I can’t imagine living without them. I’m a carb addict ;)

  8. 10

    It’s interesting to see how the dietary guidelines have changed over the years. I think as long as you eat mostly wholesome foods, you can have a healthy and balanced diet.

  9. 11

    Hey Anne! I love Michael Pollan’s philosophy on food in general, so I just had to click through and say hi. I think it’s interesting to see where the guidelines are going. I’m in Canada, and our nutritional gurus have been flirting with the idea of recommending less salt for a few years now – current adult RDA is <2300 mg per day, which I still think is a lot. There's lots of good evidence that here, we have a significant population of adults who would otherwise be normotensive that have high blood pressure because of salt intake. What do you think? Are the American guidelines much different?

    • 12

      What they’re starting to see here is that salt intake doesn’t reduce mortality risk, actually, which is what matters most. So I think think it’s necessary. I feel like if people just focused on eating less processed food vs. trying to hit some specific sodium level, they’d be better off.

  10. 13

    I basically just ask myself “is this providing a nutrient?” and if so, I’m good to go! I occasionally eat baked goods cause I love them, but I try to keep 95% of my intake REAL.

  11. 14

    Hi Anne! I just wanted to say that I agree with your (and Michael Pollan’s) perspective of eating whole foods, mostly plants, but also everything in moderation (cookie dough ice cream is something I could never give up!). I’m a happy embracer of the whole egg – so much more flavor and nutrients to enjoy when you eat the entire thing. Thanks for sharing your take on the potential guideline changes.

  12. 15

    This post was full of so much good info and great links. Thanks!

  13. 16

    Your advice is incredibly sensible! “All things in moderation, including moderation” is very, very wise, indeed. And it is great that you continue to debunk concepts that have been disproven over time. Thanks for all of that!

  14. 17

    I love Michael Pollan and agree with you 100% Hopefully we can help guide people to how “simple” healthy eating should be instead of how complicated the media and environment makes it today.

  15. 18

    Excited to see this post on the forthcoming dietary guidelines! I just wrote something about it on my own blog, but was mainly gushing over their inclusion of a sustainability section (since my background is in agriculture along with sustainability for one of the big food service management companies). Mark Bittman made a funny but true point in his NYT article about the report, saying that since agri-business hated the revised recommendations and already had their lobbyists fighting them, they must be good. So curious to see how this will all pan out…

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