In the U.S. in 1950, obesity and diabetes were not public health problems. In 1980, USDA issued the first-ever low fat Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In 2010 – the same year that even more stringent anti-fat Dietary Guidelines were reaffirmed – the CDC in Atlanta referred to diabetes as a dangerous “run-away-train.”
What happened between 1950 and 2010 to explain the unprecedented increase in diabetes that is now affecting an astonishing 25 percent of the population?
Comparing USDA’s Home & Garden Bulletin No. 1 – Family Fare – food management and recipes (February 1950) with information from the low fat 2010 Dietary Guidelines (MyPlate.gov), you will note a seismic shift in nutritional advice between 1950 and 2010. Did the science change during these decades or has the politics changed. Please, compare and decide…
1. Nutrition Goals
1950: Are you one of the country’s 33,000,000 homemakers trying to do a blue-ribbon job of feeding your family well? This booklet offers suggestions to help you serve enjoyable meals to keep your family well nourished, to practice thrift when need be, and to save time and energy where you can.
2010: Eating and physical activity patterns that are focused on consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices, and being physically active can help people attain and maintain a healthy weight, reduce their risk of chronic disease, and promote overall health.
1950: The right food helps you to be at your best in health & vitality. An individual well fed from babyhood has a more likely chance to enjoy a long prime of life. [emphasis mine]
2010: Enjoy your food, but eat less. Use a smaller plate, bowl, and glass. That way you can finish your entire plate and feel satisfied without overeating. [our behavior is the issue?]
1950: You get top-rating proteins in foods from animal sources, as in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk and cheese. Some of these protein foods are needed each day; and it is an advantage to include some in each meal.
2010: We all need protein—but most Americans eat enough, and some eat more than they need…. Try beans and peas, soy products, nuts and seeds. They are naturally low in saturated fat and high in fiber.
1950: One of the essential materials for red blood cells is iron. Liver is outstanding for iron. Some of the other foods that add iron are egg yolks, meat in general, and peas and beans.
2010: Some ready-to-eat and cooked cereals are fortified with iron. When you are pregnant, choose these cereals to help meet your increased need for iron. Choose cereals that say “Iron fortified.” [no mention of the superior quality of heme iron from animal sources]. Also, why do fortified foods now say: “Reduced Iron”?
4. Vitamin A
1950: Vitamin A is important to the young for growth. Many vitamins help protect the body against infection, and Vitamin A’s guard duty is to help keep the skin and linings of the nose, mouth and inner organs in good condition. If these surfaces are weakened, bacteria [and viruses] can invade more easily.
You can get Vitamin A from animal foods. Good sources are liver, egg yolks, butter, whole milk and cream, and cheese made from whole milk or cream.
2010: Too much vitamin A from supplements can cause birth defects. [that’s all I could find]
5. Vitamin D
1950: Egg yolk, butter, salmon, tuna and sardines help out with Vitamin D. [lard, the best source of vitamin D was already omitted, reflecting the rising sales of Crisco hydrogenated shortening by 1950.]
2010: Fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk or soy beverages that are fortified with vitamin D are good sources of this nutrient. Other sources include vitamin D-fortified yogurt and vitamin D-fortified ready-to-eat breakfast cereals.
6. Meat, poultry
1950: Meat – there’s nothing else like it – the prized savoriness of meat. But all the skill of good cooking must be brought to bear on retaining this good flavor. Beef may be cooked rare, medium, or well done.
- U.S. Choice – Excellent quality and flavor, tender and juicy, good distribution of fat throughout the lean meat.
- If you buy ungraded beef, you can be reasonably sure of high quality beef when the lean is light red, velvety-appearing, and liberally veined with fat, when bones are red, and the fat is flaky and white.
- For top quality poultry, look for a plump bird with well-fleshed breast and legs, well distributed fat, and skin that has few blemishes and pinfeathers. Too much fat is wasteful unless used in other dishes such as sauces, gravies, and cookies.
2010: Choose lean or low-fat cuts of meat like round or sirloin and ground beef that is at least 90% lean. Trim or drain fat from meat and remove poultry skin.
- The leanest beef cuts include…
- The leanest pork choices include…
- Choose extra lean ground beef… You may be able to find ground beef that is 93% or 95% lean.
- Buy skinless chicken parts, or take off the skin before cooking.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts and turkey cutlets are the leanest poultry choices.
7. Fats, oils
1950: Plan to use some table fat daily plus other fats as needed in cooking, including butter, bacon, salad oil, salt pork, lard, suet, drippings. [margarine, shortening are also on the list.]
2010: Most of the fats you eat should be polyunsaturated (PUFA) or monounsaturated (MUFA) fats: Some commonly eaten oils include:
- canola oil
- corn oil
- cottonseed oil
- olive oil
- safflower oil
- soybean oil
- sunflower oil
1950: To make good gravy, you need drippings rich enough to flavor added liquids which may be broth, milk or water.
- Braised chops: Make gravy with the drippings or pour the drippings over the chops on the platter.
- Plain dish turns party fare when graced with sauce that’s tangy or mellow – a savory gravy – or a gentle sweetening for dessert
2010: Using heavy gravies or sauces will add fat and calories to otherwise healthy choices. For example, steamed broccoli is great but avoid topping it with cheese sauce.
9. Salt, sodium
1950: Use iodized table salt regularly. [Not much concern about salt]
2010: Cut back on salt. Your taste for salt will lessen over time. [what does that really mean?] Foods like soy sauce, ketchup, pickles, olives, salad dressings, and seasoning packets are high in sodium. [but no mention of HFCS]. Popcorn can be a healthy snack. Make it with little or no added salt or butter. [Remember, butter is our best daily source of vitamin A!]
1950: The dish that gets star billing at your table – whether it’s a sizzling steak or tangy cheese casserole – is called the main dish.
- Recipe for fried liver with bacon. Sprinkle liver with salt, pepper, and flour. Cook in bacon fat at moderate heat.
- Meat, poultry, and fish offer satisfying flavor and stick-to-the-ribs quality when we’re hungry. And these are the foods that abound in high quality protein.
- Another hearty trio – milk, cheese, and eggs – are main meal favorites.
- Pot roast of beef: Rub the meat with salt, pepper and flour, and brown on all sides in a little hot fat in a deep heavy pan with cover.
- Baste a chicken or turkey several times with melted fat or drippings.
- Some of the main dishes we like best are combinations. Dear to our hearts are rich brown stews with potatoes or dumplings, chicken with flaky rice, macaroni and cheese.
2010: Think about how you can adjust the portions on your plate to get more of what you need without too many calories. Find out how many calories you need for a day as a first step in managing your weight.
- Regular cream cheese, cream, and butter are not part of the dairy food group. They are high in saturated fat and have little or no calcium. [and that’s why they are not part of the dairy group? Hello!]
- Use fat-free or low-fat milk on cereal and oatmeal. Top fruit salads and baked potatoes with low-fat yogurt instead of higher fat toppings such as sour cream.
- Aim to make at least half your grains whole grains. [other half can be refined just as sugar is refined]
- Add fruit to meals as part of main or side dishes or as dessert.
- Canned vegetables are a great addition to any meal.
- Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts as a part of the Fruit Group. [Fruit has a poor nutrient to sugar ratio]
- Drink 100% orange or grapefruit juice. Or, try a fruit mixed with fat-free or low-fat yogurt.
- Cut back on foods high in solid fats, added sugars, and salt. [what’s a solid fat – butter until you melt it?]
Category: Dietary Guidelines