U.S. Dietary Guidance for Sugar and Alcohol Intake Remains Unchanged

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Every 5 years the US government releases revised dietary guidelines for optimal health and longevity.

The newest recommendations[1] have left unchanged the amount of added sugar and alcohol consumption that is recommended on a daily basis – despite the input to the contrary of the scientific advisory council.

This is puzzling because prior studies show that lowering sugar and alcohol consumption reduces the risk of an individual getting diet-related chronic diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Watching waistline
Watching your waistline? Then you probably want to reduce your sugar and alcohol intake – despite what the latest US dietary guidelines recommend.

What is the Goal of the Nutrition Guidelines?

The goal of these nutrition guidelines is to encourage Americans to live a healthier lifestyle. It aims to educate Americans to follow a healthier dietary pattern. It should also help maintain good health and reduce the chances of getting chronic illnesses.

Healthcare costs for the US are at an all-time high – and getting higher.

Fitness is one part of a healthy lifestyle, but nutrition is equally as important.
Fitness is one part of a healthy lifestyle, but nutrition is equally as important.

How are these Guidelines Established?

The government tapped a group of 20 doctors, nutritionists, and public health experts from the country’s top academic centers to pitch in formulating the new dietary guidelines.

They recommended the guidelines encourage people to cut back on their consumption of added sugars on food and drinks. The committee suggested lowering the percentage from 10 percent to 6 percent of daily calories.

They also pointed out that it would be beneficial to reduce alcohol intake to 1 drink per day for both men and women. Citing that the pieces of evidence on the risks of high alcohol consumption is alarmingly increasing.

What were the Results and Conclusions of the Findings?

The Department of Health and Human Services expressed contradiction in adding more restrictions to sugar and alcohol consumption. The Department of Agriculture also agreed to their sentiment. Although there is concrete evidence on reducing chronic related illnesses by cutting on added sugar and alcohol, the report said, “the evidence reviewed since the 2015-2020 edition does not substantiate quantitative changes at this time.” Concluding that the recommendation from five years ago is still in place.

Water - always a great beverage choice
Skip the alcohol – good old H2O is all you need for health.

Recommendations for Fitness Trainees Based on the Research

The government has four guidelines in place in achieving a healthy eating pattern.

Below are the recommendations:

Follow a healthy dietary pattern at every life stage. Starting with exclusively breastfeeding infants in their first year in life and maintaining quality diets by eating a variety of foods from all food groups.

Customize and enjoy nutrient-dense food and beverage choices to reflect personal preferences, cultural traditions, and budgetary considerations.

Focus on meeting food group needs with nutrient-dense foods and beverages, and stay within calorie limits. This includes fruits and vegetables, grains, dairy, foods rich in protein and oils.

Limit foods and beverages higher in added sugars, saturated fat, sodium, and limit alcoholic beverages. The guideline suggests limiting added sugars and saturated fats to less than 10% of calories per day. The recommended consumption of sodium per day is at 2,300 milligrams and even less for children younger than age 14.

Additionally, alcohol intake among adults is limited to 2 drinks or less in a day for men and 1 or less in a day for women.

Food you might eat when you are done intermittent fasting
A healthy diet is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle.


1. “Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025”