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Healthy populations wanted: U.S. guidelines get it right

Healthy populations wanted: U.S. guidelines get it right


January 29, 2016 | by Roy D. Palmer, FAICD

 

(excerpts)
in reference to the the 2015 “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” (2015 DGA;)

 

The recommendation is that Americans should eat at least 8 ounces of seafood per week, and importantly, it advises pregnant and breastfeeding women to eat 8-12 oz. per week. This new advice in the 2015- 2020 book varies from the previous edition, as there is a strong emphasis on altering American dietary patterns. The role that seafood can play in that is stressed and simply confirms USDA advice late last year, that U.S. consumers were missing out on seafood’s health benefits. In fact, they have been missing out for many years and we should wonder how many people have perished because of the delay in getting this promoted previously.

 

Seafood provides more protein than cattle, sheep, or poultry. It has been known for a long time that fish also contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and D, phosphorus, magnesium and selenium. Consistent, quality research shows that omega-3 fatty acids that are found abundantly in seafood have health benefits, such as improved infant brain development and protection against heart disease and stroke.

 

So, finally the US authorities have caught up with this. Many US and global human nutritional scientists have been advocating for a long time that seafood should be highlighted as an “important source” of nutrients, praised for its “health benefits” and acclaimed for its role in “reducing risk” of heart disease.

 

Change required

 

The two jobs ahead of us are to use the new 2015 DGA to promote increased seafood consumption, and to get the USDA and HHS to ensure that seafood gets its own space on any food pyramids that it promotes. For too long seafood has been grouped with red meat, poultry, etc., and clearly seafood should be recognized to being so superior that it needs to ‘stand-alone’ in the pyramid.

 

If we are going to increase seafood consumption, especially from aquaculture, then we need to concentrate on the seafood consumer. After all, if we can increase seafood consumption then we will need to increase seafood supplies, and the only major that can happen is through aquaculture!

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