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U.S. Dietary Guidelines Recommend Lower Salt Intake

New guidelines advise reducing salt and saturated fat intake, avoiding sugary beverages

MONDAY, Jan. 31 (HealthDay News) -- The seventh edition of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Dietary Guidelines for Americans was released today, and it calls for Americans to limit their daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg, with individuals 51 years of age and older, all blacks, and those with high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease advised to limit their sodium intake to 1,500 mg or less.

The guidelines also recommend that no more than 10 percent of calories should come from saturated fat, which should be replaced with monounsaturated fats or polyunsaturated fatty acids. The guidelines also state that Americans should eat more lean meats and poultry, legumes, nuts, and seeds, as well as fat-free or 1 percent milk. In addition, Americans should avoid added sugars, refined grains, and solid fats as well as consume less than 300 mg per day of cholesterol, according to the guidelines.

Americans are advised to avoid trans fatty acids and consume alcohol in moderation, which means one alcoholic beverage or less for women per day and two drinks for men. Individuals should also drink water instead of sugary sodas or other sweetened beverages. Also, according to the guidelines, nutrients should come from eating nutritious food rather than taking nutritional supplements and Americans should consume more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to get more needed nutrients.

"Helping Americans incorporate these guidelines into their everyday lives is important to improving the overall health of the American people," Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement. "The new Dietary Guidelines provide concrete action steps to help people live healthier, more physically active and longer lives."

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