New dietary guidelines: Where’s the beef?

This year, the USDA is expected to come out with revised dietary guidelines. And apparently one of the new recommendations will encourage people to eat more vegetables, fruit, nuts, whole grains and other plant-based foods—and less meat.

This shift is supposedly based on the notion that diets higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal-based foods are “more health promoting and associated with lesser environmental impact than is the current average U.S. diet.”

This recommendation isn’t all bad. More vegetables is a good thing And moderate amounts of fruits (especially low-glycemic varieties like melons and berries) are great too.

But this shift isn’t all good, either.

Lean meats, for instance, are far better for you than all the overly processed “whole grain” products lining supermarket shelves. And a recommendation like this, unless it’s super specific on how to eat grains without hurling yourself headlong into that dangerous breadbasket of choices, can make you dangerously fat.

The panel seems to take aim at the beef industry, noting its environmental impact. And that’s certainly a worthwhile cause. But essentially they’re saying meat is bad for you. Which simply isn’t true. What’s bad is low-quality meat. As I’ve said, eating grass-fed, organic meat is the way to go.

There seem to be some attempts at actual help here, but I’m concerned that the efforts are misdirected. Taking away some of the foods Americans love the most—thick steaks and juicy burgers—may not result in people eating more salads. Instead, chances are, sales of “whole grain” breads, pastas, and the like will go through the roof. And so will obesity and diabetes rates.

So this is an example of an argument that’s not well thought out, and isn’t seeing the forest through the trees. The key is balance, moderation, and focusing on the quality of food … like my New Hamptons Health Miracle is so deft at doing.

Your best bet is to ignore the constant ebb and flow of bogus “recommendations” coming from the governing bodies, and stick with my healthy, balanced eating plan. Go ahead, have that steak or salmon with a big side of veggies. That’ll never go out of favor based on the whims of special interest groups.