Deadline for comments has been EXTENDED to May 8, 2015!
The federal Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has released its draft proposal for the new 2015 Dietary Guidelines, and they go even further than the previous ones in attacking nutritious foods like full-fat dairy, red meat, and any food with saturated fat.
The Dietary Guidelines form the basis of federal nutrition policy and food assistance programs, so the effects can be very far-reaching.
The federal agencies in charge of the Guidelines (Health & Human Services and the USDA) are accepting public comments on the draft. Groups with vegan agendas are already rallying their supporters to promote the move to “plant-based diets” and urge the agencies to go even further by discouraging the consumption of eggs and all dairy products. We need to make sure that their voices are not the only ones in this debate.
Submit comments online at: http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2015/comments/writeComments.aspx
Deadline: Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Tips for submitting comments online:
* There is a 20 minute time limit to complete the form, and you cannot save and return to a partial comment later. If you think you will need more than 20 minutes to draft your comment, you should write your comment in a file on your computer, and then copy and paste it into the form. You can also upload your comment as an attachment.
* There is a 5,000 character limit for the text box for comments. If you are writing a detailed comment (more than a two pages), then save it as a file and upload as an attachment.
* For organization, please put “self” unless you are authorized to speak on behalf of an organization.
* For topics, scroll down to the bottom of the list to select “General Comment”
We have provided a sample letter below. Also, the Healthy Nation Coalition has posted a preliminary critique: feel free to use points as needed:
The coalition letter might also provide some inspiration:
[Please add something to personalize your comments, so they have more impact. It can be just a few sentences about the health benefits you have seen with WAPF-style eating, or as extensive as you want to make it.]
The recommendation for Americans to reduce their consumption of added sugars is a positive step. But the failure to encourage the consumption of truly nutrient-dense foods – i.e. sustainably raised animal products, including grass-fed beef, lamb, and goat, pasture-raised pork and poultry, and whole-fat raw dairy products – ensures that Americans will continue to be deficient in important nutrients.
While vegetable oils such as corn and soy oil are indeed devoid of nutrients, not all fats are “empty calories.” Fats from animals raised on pasture are rich in many important nutrients, including true Vitamin A (retinol), Vitamin D, Vitamin K, and Vitamin E, as well as all their naturally occurring cofactors needed to provide maximum benefits.
Notably, the Committee identified Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E as nutrients that are under-consumed by the majority of Americans. These nutrients are not properly absorbed from so-called “fortified” foods, but are best obtained naturally from nutrient-rich animal foods, including pastured egg yolks, butter, lard and cod liver oil. The Committee also identified iron, which is best found in animal foods, as an under-consumed nutrient for adolescent and premenopausal women. The obvious solution is to encourage the consumption of these nutrient-dense animal foods, in line with the diet advocated by the Weston A. Price Foundation, not discourage it as the proposed Guidelines do!
Animal foods containing saturated fat and cholesterol provide vital nutrients necessary for growth, energy and protection from degenerative disease. Saturated fats constitute at least 50 percent of the cell membranes throughout the entire body, making them vital for normal cell function. They help calcium to be properly incorporated into the skeletal structure, are essential for lung function, aid liver function, enhance the immune system, and much more.
The studies that link red and processed meats to negative health outcomes are flawed. First, they frequently look at consumption levels of both red meat and processed meats combined, although processed meats contain many additional ingredients that have been independently linked to health concerns. Second, none of the studies address the significant differences between food from animals raised in typical confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and animals raised on pasture.
Similarly, the studies that look at the role of dairy in the diet fail to distinguish between raw dairy from pastured cows, with all of the nutrients intact and in readily-absorbable forms, and pasteurized dairy from cows in CAFOs.
Last, the finding that a diet higher in plant-based foods is more sustainable than “the current U.S. diet” fails to consider the difference between the animal products that are typical of the current U.S. diet (i.e. from CAFOs) and products from sustainably raised livestock on pasture. Grass-based livestock production has multiple environmental as well as health benefits. The research on this issue is readily available from the Savory Institute and Holistic Management International.
I urge HHS and USDA to revise the Guidelines to reflect the extensive information available on the importance of high-quality dairy, eggs, and meat from pasture-raised animals in a healthy diet.
Download the report at http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015-scientific-report/
Saturated fat, calcium, and bones: Watkins, B.A. Et al, “Importance of Vitamin E in Bone Formation and in Chondrocyte Function,” Purdue University, Lafayette, IN, American Oil Chemists Society Proceedings, 1996; Watkins, B.A., and M.F. Seifert, “Food Lipids and Bone Health,” Food Lipids and Health, R.E. McDonald and D.B. Min, eds., p.101, Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, NY, 1996.
Saturated fat and the liver: Nanji, A.A., et al., Gastroenterology, Aug. 1995, 109(2): 547-54; Cha, Y.S., and D.S. Sachan, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Aug. 1994, 13(4):338-43; Hargrove, H.L., et al., Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Journal, Meeting Abstracts, Mar. 1999, #204.1, pA222.
Saturated fat and immune function: Kabara, J.J., The Pharmacolgical Effects of Lipids, The American Oil Chemists Society, Champaign, IL 1978, 1-14; Cohen, L.A., et al, Journal of National Cancer Institute, 1986, 77:43.
Vitamin A: Price, Weston, DDS, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, 1945, Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, San Diego, CA. Dunne, Lavon J., Nutrition Almanac, 3rd ed., 1990. McGraw Hill, New York, NY; Jennings, I.W., Vitamins in Endocrine Metabolism, 1970, Heineman, London, UK; SOlomans, N.W., and J. Bulox, Nutrition Reviews, July 1993, 51:199-204; Fraps, G.S., and A.R. Kremmerer, Texas Agricultural Bulletin, Feb. 1938, No. 560.