Researchers at National Cancer Institute (NCI) have revealed that even though dietary guides are derived from different types of nutrition research, they share consistent messages.
With increased advances in nutrition science, there has been an evolution of sorts in the advice regarding what to eat for optimal health. This has resulted in contradicting the dietary recommendations made time and again.
However, the researchers after reviewing three leading dietary guides found that all the primary recommendations in the guides are consistent despite of using different methodologies to create them.
The researchers compared recommendations and nutrient values of the United States Department of Agriculture's MyPyramid; the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's DASH Eating Plan and Harvard's Healthy Eating Pyramid.
It was shown that although the guides were derived from different types of nutrition research, they have consistent messages to tell: Eat more fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains; eat less added sugar and saturated fat; and emphasize plant oils.
Recommendations were found to be similar regarding almost all food groups for both types and amounts of foods people should eat.
However, major differences were observed in the types of recommended vegetables and protein sources and the amount of recommended dairy products and total oil. Overall nutrient values were also similar for most nutrients, except vitamin A, vitamin E and calcium.
"The evidence base for optimal diets continues to evolve. However, inherent in these guides is a pattern of eating that focuses on nutrient-rich foods and limited calories from added sugar and solid fat," concluded the researchers.
The study is published in the recent issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.