Skip to content

Men's Health

Font Size
A
A
A

The New American Diet: Can We Do It?

The government's new diet guidelines may be hard to swallow.
By
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

We can all be healthy, promise the new U.S. diet guidelines. Or can we?

Your father's dinner plate featured a meat or fish entree. Vegetables were side items: something starchy, and something green -- both, like the white dinner rolls, slathered with butter. Maybe there was a salad for starters. Almost certainly there was a dessert.

Recommended Related to Men

Top Men's Health Stories of 2007: Readers' Choice

Male enhancement, men's top sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and sex myths attracted a lot of attention in 2007 from WebMD users interested in men's health. Here is the list of the 10 most viewed men's health stories on WebMD in 2007. Male Enhancement: Is It Worth a Try? Enlarged Prostate: A Complex Problem Ubersexual: The New Masculine Ideal? Overcoming Ejaculation Problems Men's Top 5 Health Concerns Sex: Fact an...

Read the Top Men's Health Stories of 2007: Readers' Choice article > >

If this is what your dinner plate looks like, the U.S. health and agriculture departments now say, forget about it. The plate should be alive with colorful vegetables such as purple eggplant, dark green kale, and bright orange winter squash - all without butter. If there's any meat at all on the plate, it will be no more than three lean ounces of beef, chicken, or much-preferred fish.

That's not all. You'll need five servings of vegetables, four servings of fruit, three cups of low-fat dairy foods, and 6 ounces of whole grains every single day. Cut back on salt. Eat only healthy oils and no bad fats. Stay away from sweets and sugar-added beverages. Drink very little or no alcohol. Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. Or better still, exercise for 60 to 90 minutes daily.

We all need to eat better. But this is just not a reasonable target, says nutritionist Annette Dickinson, PhD, president of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade association of dietary supplement manufacturers.

"I think there is a risk of these guidelines setting people up for failure," Dickinson tells WebMD. "We know that people already aren't doing what the last guidelines said. Yet these are more stringent. It is good to have a goal to shoot for. But this is just not a real-life solution."

Don't Let It Scare You

Arguably, few have done more to change the American diet than Mark Bittman, author of the weekly New York Times cooking column "The Minimalist." Bittman's best-selling 1998 How to Cook Everything toned down the buttery rich recipes of James Beard and Julia Childs. His claim to fame - soon to be demonstrated in a new PBS series in which famous U.S. chefs will challenge him to make simpler versions of their signature dishes - is that modern times call for lower-fat, simpler recipes.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Today on WebMD

man coughing
Men shouldn’t ignore.
man swinging in hammock
And how to get out it.
 
shaving tools
On your shaving skills.
muscular man flexing
Four facts that matter.
 
Food Men 10 Foods Boost Male Health
Slideshow
Thoughtful man sitting on bed
Quiz
 
Man taking blood pressure
Slideshow
doctor holding syringe
Slideshow
 

Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Condom Quiz
Quiz
thumbnail_angry_couple_in_bed
Slideshow
 
man running
Quiz
older couple in bed
Video