Dietary Guidelines 2015-2020 summary


Guidelines (Abbreviated)

  • Follow a healthy eating pattern across the life span.
  • Focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount.
  • Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake.
  • Shift to healthier food and beverage choices.
  • Support healthy eating patterns for all.


Key Recommendations
Follow a healthy eating pattern that accounts for all foods and beverages within an appropriate calorie level.       A healthy eating pattern includes

A variety of vegetables from all of the subgroups—dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy, and other

Fruits, especially whole fruits

Grains, at least half of which are whole grains

Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and fortified soy beverages

A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), and nuts, seeds, and soy products


A healthy eating pattern limits saturated fats and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium.


Key recommendations that are quantitative are provided for several components of the diet of particular public health concern that should be limited.

Consume less than 10% of calories per day from added sugars.

Consume less than 10% of calories per day from saturated fats.

Consume less than 2300 mg/d of sodium.

If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation—up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age.


The Dietary Guidelines also include a key recommendation to meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.





This Viewpoint summarizes the updated recommendations of the US Department of Health and Human Services’ recently released 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Source: JAMA Network | JAMA | Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Why am I not losing weight?

Most of my patients complain to me :  “I am unable to lose weight inspite of giving it my best shot?” 

Now, why is that?

Most of them follow diets which cannot be continued for long time or have bad eating habits or follow one of the below mentioned things.

Things that never work: 

Fasting for long hours.

Fasting for half a day.

Skipping their breakfast and other meals.

Eating once a day.

Liquid diets.

Taking supplements to lose weight.

Alternative diets

Getting on the vibrator belt/ using fancy exercise equipment to lose weight (vibrators).

Now why is that these things don’t work?

Its very simple! Lets get down to the basics!

Consider that you have a bucket and you are filling water in it from the top and draining some water from below. It you are filling it with more water than the amount of water you are draining, it is bound to fill up and overflow. It you are adding less water from the top and draining more water from the bottom, the bucket is going to be empty soon.

So, What does this tell you?

It tells us that Losing Weight is all about your intake and output. Your intake is in the form of food stuff that you consume/eat which adds up to calories in medical terms. The output is the calories you lose by performing your daily routine/ exercise.

So if one’s calorie intake is lower that the calorie expenditure, there is a 100% chance that one will reduce and lose weight.

So What do we do?

Follow the following!

A. Tips regarding eating to lose weight:

1. Eat Well! Do not Fast as that is not going to help.

2. Eat a healthy Breakfast! Very important! Lots of studies have proven that people who miss breakfast are likely to put on weight. So do no skip your breakfast!

3. What can you eat for breakfast? Fruits, Fruit juices, whole grain cereals, oats, muesli, sandwiches etc. I personally prefer Kellogg’s cereal with fruits added to it mixed in milk!

4. Eat frequent small meals! Eat 4-6 times in a day. The trick is to keep the tummy full and avoid hunger pangs. Hunger pangs make you overeat! But, it is important to eat healthy stuff when you are going to eat frequently. Options include fruits, salads, fish, white meat, sandwiches, snacks like nuts.

5. Eat Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince and Dinner like a Pauper! So very true! Breakfast >> Lunch>> Dinner.  Add 2 more snacks in between them and that should suffice to make you lose weight.

6. Eat Healthy food stuff: Cereals, Whole grain foodstuff, Fresh fruits, Salads, nuts etc. Even cheese slices or dark chocolates would do as one of the snack.

7. Avoid Fried food, Fast food, refined flour, polished grains.

8.  Eat food stuff which is part of your everyday staple diet so that its easy to follow it throughout life! Do not drastically change the food items which you consume daily.

9. Eat only natural sugar: in the form of fruits or honey. This way you can avoid sugar and sugar containing items like cakes and cookies.

B. Tips regarding exercising:

1. Regular Exercise is a must. Brisk Walking for 30-45 minutes should suffice for most of us.

2. Earn your TV time! If you exercise for half hour, you get to watch TV for half hour!

That’s one of the best advice I give to my patients. NO EXERCISE = NO TV!

3.  Any time of the day is good enough for exercise! If you miss your morning walk, try to do it in the evenings.

4. Walk, walk, Walk! Walk the stairs, walk in your office, walk to the supermarket, walk in your neighbourhood. Walk even when you are working! Walk whenever you see a opportunity. This can help in burning calories even if its for a few minutes!

5. DO NOT CONCENTRATE ON LOSING WEIGHT OR A MAGIC NUMBER! Living a Healthy life is more important than procrastinating on why the weight is not reducing!

Give up worrying about your weight. Just concentrate on Living and Eating Healthy. The rest will follow in due course. Even if it does not, you have the sense of accomplishment of following a Healthy Lifestyle!

So, Eat Healthy and Walk Healthy for Life!