New diet guidelines: A few steps forward, a few back

For your heart and overall health, don't follow all of the government's healthy eating recommendations.

Every five years, the federal government tells us what we should eat to stay healthy. It's a daunting task, really, given how many of us there are (nearly 300 million), how different we are, and the ways the Dietary Guidelines for Americans are used. They not only inform the choices that we make as individuals but also direct school lunch programs, food services on military bases, and a host of other federal food programs.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson called the new guidelines, released in January, "a combination of good science and common sense." He neglected to mention one other key element — intense pressure from the food industry.

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