New Year, New Dietary Guidelines

Last week, I watched the virtual release of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Here are some highlights for you:

  • There are four over-arching guidelines:
    1. Follow a healthy dietary pattern at every life stage.
    2. Customize and enjoy nutrient-dense food and beverage choices to reflect personal preferences, cultural traditions, and budgetary considerations.
    3. Focus on meeting food group needs with nutrient-dense foods and beverages, and stay within calorie limits.
    4. Limit food and beverages higher in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium, and limit alcoholic beverages.
  • The new edition of the Dietary Guidelines comes with a new call to action – Make Every Bite Count!
    • This theme was evident throughout the virtual presentation and you’ll also see it in the new materials available at
    • There’s emphasis on the idea that “every American can take one step each day to be better off than the day before.”
  • For the first time, the Dietary Guidelines provides recommendations across the lifespan, from birth to older adulthood, including pregnancy and lactation.
    • Admiral Brett Giroir, MD, assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services said this: “The good news is that the science tells us that it is never too early nor too late to eat healthy, which is why it is so important to make every bite count.”
  • Recommendations on added sugar intake did not change.
    • The Scientific Report of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee had recommended that intake of added sugars be limited to no more than 6 percent of calories, but “the evidence reviewed since the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans does not substantiate quantitative changes at this time.”
    • The bottom line: Americans are still advised to consume no more than 10 percent of daily calories from added sugars.
  • You can already find resources online, including an infographic about Making Every Bite Count and the Top 10 Things You Need to Know about the new Dietary Guidelines.

Find all of our new and updated materials here. Use the code 202015OFF to get 15% off and free shipping for all of our Dietary Guidelines relates resources now.

Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD

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updated on 05-20-2024