Federal dietary guidelines need to cut carbohydrates

Style Magazine Newswire | 2/11/2020, 11:17 a.m.

This is why the guidelines' drafting committee may recommend a low-carb diet pattern as a healthy option, but, unfortunately, the committee's potential recommendation, a diet that derives up to 45% of calories from carbohydrates, won't be effective. That limit is far too high. Additionally, it's better to limit the grams of carbohydrates people consume rather than define diets according to percentages.

Each person is different, but research shows that for real improvement to their metabolic health, most people need to consume less than 50 grams of carbohydrates each day, roughly the boundary for the ketogenic diet. Many people, especially if they already have Type 2 diabetes or other illnesses, might have to keep it below 20 grams of carbohydrates daily to see results and make up for reduced calories from carbohydrates by eating more healthy fats, including saturated fats.

The federal dietary guidelines need a major overhaul and not an incremental change if their aim is actually to provide nutritional advice that can improve health. Unfortunately, that doesn't appear likely to happen, at least not soon.

Doug Reynolds is the CEO of LowCarbUSA, a group that organizes conferences on low-carb science. One of its recent publications is Clinical Guidelines for Therapeutic Carbohydrate Reduction.