New Obama guidelines: Lean meat has role in healthy diet

thehill_logo_200By: Lydia Wheeler, The Hill

New federal dietary guidelines, which dropped early Thursday morning, tell Americans to follow a healthy eating pattern that includes a variety of vegetables, fruit, grains, fat-free dairy, oils and a variety of proteins, including lean meats.

The recommendations for what Americans should and shouldn’t be eating, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) update together every five years, created unprecedented controversy in 2015 when the federally appointed panel of nutritionists that helps draft them considered sustainability in recommending in its report that people should eat less meat to help the environment.

USDA and HHS relented to industry outrage and promised environmental sustainability would not be considered, but congressional leaders wanted to be sure, adding language to the $1.1 trillion spending bill that forces the agencies to conduct a comprehensive review of the guidelines and the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee within 30 days.

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