What’s new in nutritional guidelines, from the April 2016 Harvard Men's Health Watch

The USDA recently released its updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans — advice that encourages healthier eating patterns based on the latest nutritional science. While there is a lot of information available in the report, older men should focus on four specific areas to improve their health, according to the April 2016 issue of Harvard Men's Health Watch.

These include:

  1. Vary food choices. "Mixing it up and trying different foods can increase intake of an assortment of micronutrients that help protect against heart disease and increase bone health," says Katherine McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.
  2. Take a fresh look at fat. Men should continue to eat less saturated fat (which is found in red and processed meat), but increase their intake of healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
  3. Curb sugar intake. Reduce daily sugar intake to no more than nine teaspoons, or 36 grams, a day. High amounts of sugar, such as those found in sugary drinks, may increase the risk of heart failure.
  4. Cut sodium, but not potassium. "Monitor salt intake to protect against high blood pressure, but men also need potassium found in common fruits and vegetables for the healthy function of cells," says McManus.

Read the full-length article: "What's new in nutritional guidelines?"