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Is there anything the new dietary guidelines say we shouldn't eat? [Updated]

June 21, 2010 |  1:20 pm

Want to get to know the federal government’s proposed new Dietary Guidelines for Americans and win a prize? Check out this contest over at La Vida Locavore.

USDA dietary guidelines foods to avoid contest Sustainable-food activist and author Jill Richardson points out that the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services are eager to tell people to eat more healthful foods (such as fruits and vegetables) but never seems to name specific foods that we should not eat. Food ingredients such as sodium, sugar and saturated fats are in for a finger-wagging, but when it comes to potato chips, cupcakes or French fries, the advice is simply to “choose wisely.”

So Jill poses this challenge: If you can find an example of the USDA and HHS telling Americans to eat less of a specific food or food group, you’ll win a free book about food (she’ll send you a list of choices).

Since the contest began Tuesday, Jill has named two winners:

In Part B, Section 3, “VK” finds that the guidelines tell Americans to “avoid sugar-sweetened beverages.”

Meanwhile, “Count” notes that page 2 of the executive summary advises readers to “lower intake of refined grains, especially refined grains that are coupled with added sugar, solid fat, and sodium.”

OK, Booster Shots readers, there are hundreds of pages of dietary guidelines. Can you find any more winners?

Update: This post originally gave the USDA sole credit for producing the dietary guidelines. It is actually a co-production of the USDA and HHS.

-- Karen Kaplan

Photo: If you can find where the USDA says we should skip the cupcakes, you'll be a winner. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

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