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First New Diet Guidelines Since 1980

The federal government issued new dietary guidelines for Americans on Wednesday, and for the first time since the recommendations were introduced in 1980. Finally, the conventional medical paradigm may be indeed GETTING IT in terms of the amount of daily exercise one needs to lose weight, according to the revised Dietary Guidelines for Americans along with a new Food Pyramid unveiled yesterday. Now, they recommend alloting 60-90 minutes EACH DAY to exercise.

That's a smart move, considering I've have been saying for years the key factor in building optimal health in people who have insulin resistance and need to lose weight is a 90-minute "dose" of exercise daily! (Once you normalize your weight, however, you can cut your exercise regimen to 45-minute sessions three to four times a week.)

Most of the two-thirds of the country who are overweight and tens of millions of others with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, desperately need more exercise to revitalize their health. My philosophy: Exercise really needs to be viewed as a drug. Although very few clinicians or patients understand this concept, I believe exercise is one of the most powerful "drugs" that we have. In fact, unlike typical commercial drugs, exercise can actually cause one to go into permanent remission for diabetes.

Other highlights of the new standards:

  • Five to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables a day and cutting back on sugar.
  • Lowering your intake of trans fats as much as possible.
  • Cutting back on sugar.
  • Increasing your daily intake of fruits and vegetables to 5-13 servings.

I particularly enjoyed hearing Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson's quote from the news conference where the new standards were announced about a "miracle weight-loss" drug: "There's not going to be a pill."

USA Today January 13, 2005

New York Times January 13, 2005

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