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Visualizing Nutrition- Chapter 2

Visualizing Nutrition- Chapter 2 - c02.qxd 7:25 PM Page 28...

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28 Guidelines for a Healthy Diet 2 “W hat you don’t know could kill you” may have been the first nutrition recommendation in human history. To swallow the wrong berry or gulp down water from a suspect source or tuck into a diseased organ from the most recent kill could have been fatal to early humans, who were hunter-gatherers. Such lessons would serve as anecdotal guideposts to survival. As societies developed, dietary cautions turned into taboos, sometimes laws, and ultimately, nutrition recommendations. Governments have been providing what we would call modern nutrition information for the past 150 years. As the Industrial Revolution swept through Great Britain in the first half of the 19th century, urban populations—and poverty and hunger—swelled. To ensure a healthy workforce, the British government developed minimum dietary guidelines utilizing the cheapest foods. It wasn’t until World War I that the British Royal Society determined that a healthy workforce required a healthy diet, not necessarily the cheapest. So fruits, vegetables, and milk became elements of a solid nutritional foundation. Since then, virtually every national government has sought, with varying degrees of success, to establish dietary standards for its citizens. Today, modern public health agencies provide valuable information regarding nutritional choices. However, this information isn’t always understood or used properly. As portion sizes grow, so do American waistlines—and the attendant health concerns. “What you don’t know could kill you” remains as vital an admonition today as it was 40,000 years ago. c02.qxd 7/14/09 7:25 PM Page 28
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CHAPTER OUTLINE Nutrition Recommendations p. 30 Nutrition Facts Serving Size 1 cup (228g) Servings Per Container 2 Amount Per Serving Calories 250 Calories from Fat 110 % Daily Value* 18% Total Fat 12g Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) p. 34 Tools for Diet Planning p. 37 Food and Supplement Labels p. 44 c02.qxd 7/14/09 7:25 PM Page 29
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hat should we be eating if we want to satisfy our nutrient needs? Our taste buds, food marketers and advertisers, and magazine and newspaper headlines all influence our choices. These choices may not always be healthy ones, however. Our taste buds respond to flavor and sensation, not necessarily to sensible nutrition; manufacturers want to sell products; and magazines want to sell subscriptions. Government recommendations, on the other hand, are designed with individual health as well as public health in mind. They can be used to plan diets and to evaluate what we are eating, both as individuals and as a nation. PAST AND PRESENT U.S. RECOMMENDATIONS The federal government has been in the business of making nutritional recommendations for over 100 years. These recommendations have changed over time as our food intake patterns have changed and our knowledge of what constitutes a healthy diet has evolved.
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