New year brings new dietary rules from Uncle Sam

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Just when you thought it was safe to stuff your face at that food cart across the street, the government has some new rules about what you should and should not put in your mouth.

And guess what. Sugar is on the list, with Uncle Sam saying to limit added sugar to no more than ten percent of your daily calories.

That means if you have a 2,000 calorie a day diet, no more than 200 calories should come from sugar in any form.

A 12-ounce can of soda pop can have up to 150 calories of sugar. Sadly, most food labels won’t tell you how many calories come from sugar.

The guidelines also suggest cutting salt and saturated fat. The folks at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say more than 90 percent of children and 89 percent of adults eat too much sodium, with more than three-fourths served up in processed food and in restaurants.

Here’s some good news for meat lovers. The new rules don’t say to eat less red or processed meat, even though it seems there’s a study every other day that links both to cancer.

You probably don’t have to worry about your protein. The government says most of us get enough, with men getting more than they need.

The new rules say the best thing to do is concentrate on healthy foods, such as veggies, fruits, and whole grains.

Don’t forget your fat-free or low-fat dairy, like milk, yogurt and cheese.

If you really want more protein, try seafood, lean meats, poultry, and eggs.

That’s a lot to digest, but the new guidelines will help feed your food for thought.