Every 5 years a new dietary guideline is created by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and of Agriculture (USDA). In fact, it’s required that these guidelines be created so that the United States population can remain healthy.

The dietary guidelines are used to create Federal food, nutrition, and health policies and programs in the United States. By law, these guidelines need to be based on current scientific and medical knowledge.

Even though they’ve made improvements in the Dietary Guidelines over the years, rates of many chronic diseases have increased.

50% of American adults have at least 1 or more preventable disease! All they would need to do is eat differently and exercise to improve their condition.

These preventable diseases include:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity and being overweight

And on top of that, cancer is more prevalent than ever. Check out some of these statistics from the National Cancer Institute:

  • In 2015, 1,658,370 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 589,430 people will die from the disease.
  • The number of new cases of cancer (cancer incidence) is 454.8 per 100,000 men and women per year (based on 2008-2012 cases).
  • The number of cancer deaths (cancer mortality) is 171.2 per 100,000 men and women per year (based on 2008-2012 deaths).
  • In 2014, an estimated 15,780 children and adolescents ages 0 to 19 were diagnosed with cancer and 1,960 died of the disease.
  • National expenditures for cancer care in the United States totaled nearly $125 billion in 2010 and could reach $156 billion in 2020.

So what’s going on? Shouldn’t we be getting healthier with these new dietary recommendations? Let’s dig in and find out…

Here Are the Key Recommendations in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Copied from Health.gov

The Dietary Guidelines Key Recommendations for healthy eating patterns should be applied in their entirety, given the interconnected relationship that each dietary component can have with others.

Consume a healthy eating pattern that accounts for all foods and beverages within an appropriate calorie level.

A healthy eating pattern includes[1]:

  • A variety of vegetables from all of the subgroups—dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy, and other
  • Fruits, especially whole fruits
  • Grains, at least half of which are whole grains
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages
  • A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), and nuts, seeds, and soy products
  • Oils

A healthy eating pattern limits:

  • Saturated fats and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium

Key Recommendations that are quantitative are provided for several components of the diet that should be limited. These components are of particular public health concern in the United States, and the specified limits can help individuals achieve healthy eating patterns within calorie limits:

  • Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from added sugars[2]
  • Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from saturated fats[3]
  • Consume less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day of sodium[4]

If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation—up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age.[5]

In tandem with the recommendations above, Americans of all ages—children, adolescents, adults, and older adults—should meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans to help promote health and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

Americans should aim to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. The relationship between diet and physical activity contributes to calorie balance and managing body weight. As such, the Dietary Guidelines includes a Key Recommendation to

  • Meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.[6]

Limiting Your Sugar: There’s More to the Story…

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For the sake of brevity in this blog post, I’m only going to expand upon the guideline: “limit added sugars.”

Sugar is addictive. The more you taste that sweet taste, the more sweets you crave.

Doctors tell people to eat sugar in moderation, but how much is moderation?

If a person is used to drinking 6 cans of soda a day, and he now drinks 3 cans is that considered moderation to him? Yes.

But 1 can of soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar. And 3 cans of sugar is equal to 30 teaspoons of sugar!

I asked a few people who say “I eat everything in moderation” how they “moderate” the amount of sugar/food they eat. They couldn’t answer the question.

And then I asked them, “Do you know how much sugar is too much for the body to handle?”

Most people said, “I don’t know. That’s why I eat in moderation.”

People eat in “moderation” because they don’t know what’s actually healthy!


In the United States, We Are Eating Way Too Much Sugar!


Check out these statistics on the pounds of sugar the average person eats per year in the United States:

  • In 1700 – the average person ate 4 pounds of sugar per year.
  • In 1800 –  the average person ate 18 pounds of sugar per year.
  • In 1900 – the average person ate 90 pounds of sugar per year!
  • In 2009 – the average person ate 150 pounds of sugar per year! That’s almost 1/2 of a pound of sugar per day!

Here’s another report by the USDA on Sweetener Consumption in the United States

It’s really no surprise that we eat that much sugar when you consider all the food products that contain sugar in the Standard American Diet:

  • Fruit juices
  • Soft drinks
  • Sports drinks
  • Yogurt
  • Salad dressings
  • Sauces
  • Cereal
  • Almost all processed foods in some form or another
  • Almost all low fat products have some form of added sugar

That means that a large percentage of what people are consuming as “food” is loaded with sugar. Yet doctors tell people they can still eat these foods in moderate amounts.

Doctors need to start telling people that these foods should not be eaten at all. There’s too much evidence on the toxicity of sugar to continue to tell people they can eat these foods in moderate amounts.

Doctors also used to tell patients a pack of cigarettes a day was okay… We all know how that went.

The Dangers of Sugar

But what’s wrong with an increase in sugar consumption?

Eating too much sugar will:

  • make you fat
  • cause your energy to go up and down all day
  • make you addicted to food
  • cause inflammation all throughout your body
  • cause insulin resistance, leptin resistance, and other hormonal imbalances, which eventually lead to type II diabetes
  • give you yeast, parasite, and bacterial infections
  • wear out your organs
  • and cause more health problems…

Sugar: The Bitter Truth is a great lecture by Dr. Robert Lustig. It get its in depth on the toxic effects of sugar.

Not All Sugars Are Created Equal


There are 3 simple sugars, known as monosaccharides:

  • Glucose
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose

Glucose is the sugar that your body, and all other life forms on Earth, use to create energy. Eating glucose in moderate amounts is perfectly fine if you can process it well.

If you eat a whole food diet, you’ll get glucose from vegetables, fruits, beans, grains, and other whole food starches.

If you are someone with blood sugar problems, you could try the ketogenic diet, which limits glucose.

The low carb ketogenic diet has reduced or completely reversed diabetes symptoms in thousands of people around the world.

Eating this way causes the body to burn fats, called ketones, as an energy source instead of glucose/sugar.

Here’s the Macronutrient Breakdown of a Ketogenic Diet

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Here are some of the benefits:

  • rapid weight loss
  • decreased appetite
  • reduced inflammation
  • better memory and focus
  • cancer treatments
  • reduced symptoms for Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s patients
  • seizure management for epileptic patients
  • reversing multiple sclerosis symptoms like Dr. Terry Wahls

Read this blog post to learn how to start a ketogenic diet!

How do you know if you can tolerate carbohydrates? Test your blood sugar after your meals. If it goes above 120 mg/dl and stays there for a while, you can’t tolerate carbs well. You want your blood sugar to stay consistently between 70-120 mg/dl to be healthy.

Dextrose is basically the same as glucose. It is found naturally in foods such as fruit and honey. It’s also the form of glucose in your blood.

Fructose has the same chemical formula as glucose, but it is processed in the body differently than glucose.

Sources of fructose are:

  • Sucrose from beet or cane
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Fruits
  • Honey

Interesting fact: Fructose was barely found in the food supply hundreds of years ago.


Too Much Fructose Ruins Your Health!

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Doctors suggest you eat no more than 25 grams of fructose per day to remain healthy. Anymore than that and you could be causing health problems.

Eating excessive amounts of fructose has been shown to:

  • promote weight gain
  • increase your blood sugar
  • promote insulin resistance
  • cause high blood pressure
  • decrease HDL – the good cholesterol
  • increase LDL – the bad cholesterol
  • elevate triglycerides, which leads to heart disease
  • elevate uric acid, which leads to inflammation

Telling all patients they can eat 25g of fructose per day is not great advice. It doesn’t take into account that 33% of the population can’t tolerate this many carbohydrates without their blood sugar going out of control. Telling these people to eat that much sugar could hurt them.


The Most Common Names of Sugar That Show up on Food and Drink Labels Are…

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Other types of sugar you might commonly see on ingredient lists are fructose, lactose and maltose.

Fructose is sugar derived from fruit and vegetables.

Lactose is milk sugar.

And maltose is sugar that comes from grain.

The Less Common Names of Sugar That Usually Show Up in Very Small Print on Food Labels Include…

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Start reading the ingredient list on the food label!

Check out These Facts on Diabetes

  • 11% of US adults have diabetes
  • 22% of US adults have some form of insulin resistance which could lead to diabetes

That’s 33% of the US population who can’t process carbohydrates efficiently! If these people are told they can eat fructose, it could wreck their bodies.

The sad truth is, doctors do not tell patients this. And many doctors aren’t even aware that excess fructose will hurt you.

This isn’t because doctors are stupid or have bad intentions. They just aren’t taught to think this way in medical school. They are not taught to look at the root causes of the problem in the body.

Instead, they treat symptoms with drugs while the problems persist. In their eyes, the body is a thing that can be fixed with drugs. Not true at all.

To really fix any object, you need to look at it objectively and determine what factors it needs to be optimal. For humans, we need quality food, water, air, sunlight, relationships, movement, time in nature, and a passion, along with other factors.

When any of these factors are missing, we become ill. These problems don’t disappear when you give people pills. All they do is reduce symptoms until the person dies. And that’s no way to live.


Cutting out Sugar Is Not Enough: Starches Can Ruin Your Health Too

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Simple sugars combine with each other to create more complex sugars. Examples include:

  • Disaccharides
  • Polysaccharides
  • Oligosaccharides

Disaccharides are made up of 2 sugar molecules. They can be found in:

  • Table sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Lactose in milk

Polysaccharides are made up of 3 or more saccharide molecules. They are found mainly in starches, such as:

  • Potatoes
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Grains
  • Corn

Even though these foods are considered complex carbohydrates, they still break down into glucose in the bloodstream. Which means they’ll have the same negative effects on your health if you can’t tolerate them. You may still be able to eat nuts though. Nuts have fewer carbohydrates.

I shared the story about my diabetic father who became a diabetic eating what most doctors consider “healthy” in my blog.

He cut off sugar knowing his body can’t tolerate it. But he wasn’t told that starch also turns into glucose. And this caused him lot’s of problems.


Examples of High Carb Meals for Both Western and Asian Cultures

Typical HIGH Carbohydrate Western Meals

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  • 1 bowl of breakfast cereal
  • 1 cup of orange juice

This meal contains approx. 48 g carb, 3.8 g protein, 0.6 g fat.


  • Whole-wheat sandwiches with 2 ounces (56g) of chicken and 2 leaves of lettuce
  • 1 can of soda beverage

This meal contains approx. 42.7 g carb, 25.4 g protein, 10.9 g fat.


  • 1 piece of pastry 4” dia (33g carb)
  • 1 can of soda beverage

This snack contains approx. 41 g carb, 2 g protein, 11 g fat.


  • 3 slices of pizza
  • 1 cup coleslaw
  • A slice of dessert cake
  • 1 can of soda beverage

This meal contains approx. 197.6 g carb, 40.8 g protein, 58.8 g fat.

The Total Macronutrients for These Meals:

  • 329 g carb
  • 72 g protein
  • 81 g fat

This is a typical scenario of high carb low fat meals most Americans/Caucasians eat in a day. Each meal puts high doses of glucose into the bloodstream thus spiking the hormone insulin every few hours. The fat ingested will be stored and glucose used for energy primarily. The excess glucose will be stored as fat in the fat cells.


Typical HIGH Carbohydrate Asian Meals



  • 2 eggs any style
  • 2 slices of whole wheat bread with sweet jam spread
  • 1 cup of orange juice / sweet Milo chocolate milk

This meal contains approx. 63 g carb, 22.3 g protein, 25.8 g fat.


  • 1 cup (158g) white rice
  • 2 ounces (56g) chicken
  • ½ cup cooked green vegetable
  • 1 cup of sweet barley beverage

This meal contains approx. 67.8 g carb, 16.7 g protein, 5.4 g fat.


  • 1 slice of cake (3 ounces/85g)
  • 1 cup of coffee sweetened with sugar or condensed milk (10.78g carb)

This snack contains approx. 44.9 g carb, 8.3 g protein, 31 g fat.


  • 1 cup noodles
  • 3 ounces pork slices cooked any style
  • ½ cup cooked broccoli
  • 1 cup of sweet herbal beverage
  • 1 cup assorted fresh fruit

This meal contains approx. 74 g carb, 25.3 g protein, 14 g fat.

The Total Macronutrients for These Meals:

  • 249 g carb
  • 73 g protein
  • 76 g fat.

This is a typical scenario of high carb low fat meals most Asians eat in a day. Each meal puts high doses of glucose into the blood stream, thus spiking the hormone insulin every few hours. The fat would be stored and glucose gets used for energy primarily. The excess glucose will be stored as fat in the fat cells.

If this is you, you’ll want to totally avoid these foods.

What You Eat on a Low Carbohydrate Diet


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  • 3 whole eggs any style cooked with 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 slices of crispy bacon
  • ½ cup blackberries drizzled with 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 cup tea with 1 tablespoon of cream
  • 1 glass of water with lemon slice

This meal contains approx. 5 g carb, 36.2 g protein, 53.4 g fat.


  • 3 ounces (85g) chicken with skin
  • 2 cups spinach salad with shaved cheddar cheese, olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette dressings.
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup of tea with 1 tablespoon of cream
  • 1 glass of water with lemon slice

This meal contains approx. 2.7 g carb, 33.9 g protein, 54.2 g fat.


  • 1 cup of coffee with 1 tablespoon of heavy cream
  • 1 ounce (22 kernels) pecan nuts

This snack contains approx. 1.12 g carb, 1.91 g protein, 18.25 g fat.


  • 6 ounces (170g) pork chop with fat intact, grilled or roasted with 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 cups cooked broccoli with bacon grease
  • 1 glass of dry red wine
  • 1 glass of water with lemon slice

This meal contains approx. 13.3 g carb, 39 g protein, 46.4 g fat.

The Total Macronutrients for These Meals:

  • 22 g carb
  • 111 g protein
  • 172 g fat

With a consistent low carb eating style as in this example, a person will likely be in ketosis (burning fat for energy) and experience the health benefit I mentioned earlier.

You could eat well, stay slim and regain your health!

We Need to Help People Get Better!

All in all, I’m happy that eating less sugar has been emphasized in the new Dietary Guidelines. But I wish the creators would let people know that carbohydrates are sugars too, and that they can have the same effects on the body.

They also need to suggest alternative dietary methods to people who are really suffering, such as a low carb diet for diabetics. Low carb ketogenic diets are proving to be very therapeutic around the world. Not considering all the studies found on PubMed and other sources is almost criminal.

We need to help people get better! We can’t let outdated beliefs stand in our way.
Don’t hesitate to mail me at kelly@cookinginspiredbylove.com if you have any questions or concerns.