The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have just released the latest 2020-2025 dietary guidelines for Americans, something they have done every 5 years since 1980. Although the overall benchmarks of healthy eating have largely remained the same, the latest edition recognizes the use of dietary supplements to help to meet nutrient needs not obtainable from food intake alone and identifies groups that may consider dietary supplements. The new guidelines specifically emphasize that underconsumption of vitamin D, iron, calcium, dietary fiber and potassium among Americans is linked to health concerns. Specific guidelines include:
- The use of Vitamin D supplements because diet and natural sources alone may not be sufficient to reach optimal levels.
- Infants who are fed human milk exclusively or partially will need a vitamin D supplement of 400 IU per day beginning soon after birth. Young children may need to continue taking a vitamin D supplement after age 12 months.
- Women who are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant should be advised by their healthcare practitioner to take prenatal vitamin and mineral supplements to achieve adequate intakes of key nutrients including vitamin D, folic acid, iron, iodine, and choline.
- Vegetarian and vegan pregnant or lactating women should ask their healthcare providers about supplementation to ensure adequate intakes of iron, vitamin B12, choline, zinc, iodine, and EPA/DHA.
- Vitamin B12 is a nutrient of concern for older adults because of poor absorption from food, and therefore may require supplementation.
Overall, the basic principles of healthy eating (including nutrient-dense foods and limiting overconsumption of added sugar, saturated fats, sodium and alcohol) still stand. However, the new guidelines also recognize that underconsumption of key nutrients is a public health concern and that dietary supplements can help support the health of Americans. To learn more, read the full guide.
(1) CRN Applauds Support of Dietary Supplement Use in ‘2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans’.” CRN Applauds Support of Dietary Supplement Use in ‘2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ | Council for Responsible Nutrition, www.crnusa.org/newsroom/crn-applauds-support-dietary-supplement-use-2020-2025-dietary-guidelines-americans.
(2) Daniells, Stephen. “2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines Support Dietary Supplement Use.” Nutraingredients, William Reed Business Media Ltd., 8 Jan. 2021, www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Article/2021/01/08/2020-2025-Dietary-Guidelines-support-dietary-supplement-use.
(3) Home: Dietary Guidelines for Americans.” Home | Dietary Guidelines for Americans, www.dietaryguidelines.gov/.
(4) USDA and HHS Release 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.” Nutritional Outlook, www.nutritionaloutlook.com/view/usda-and-hhs-release-2020-2025-dietary-guidelines-for-americans