New dietary guidelines urge increased seafood intake

Published on
January 7, 2016

U.S. seafood industry leaders praised the USDA’s 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released on 7 January, which encourages Americans to eat more seafood.

The Guidelines recommend that Americans eat at least eight ounces of a variety of seafood per week, for those eating a 2,000 calorie-per-day diet, with the aim to take in at least 250 mg. per day of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. The USDA also said women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should eat at least eight ounces of seafood per week of omega-3 fatty acid DHA to improve infant health outcomes.

“The Seafood Nutrition Partnership is very encouraged by the new 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA),” Linda Cornish, executive director of SNP, told SeafoodSource. “While the amount of seafood recommended is the same from the 2010 DGA, the 2015 DGA recommends a shift towards healthy eating patterns that include seafood.”

Currently, only one in 10 Americans follow the DGA to eat seafood at least twice a week, so Cornish is “hopeful that the 2015 DGA will support health and nutrition professionals to guide Americans on how to incorporate more seafood into their diets.”

In fact, the USDA provided some recommendations on how Americans could incorporate additional seafood in their diets.

“Shifts are needed within the protein foods group to increase seafood intake, but the foods to be replaced depend on the individual’s current intake from the other protein subgroups. Strategies to increase the variety of protein foods include incorporating seafood as the protein foods choice in meals twice per week in place of meat, poultry, or eggs, and using legumes or nuts and seeds in mixed dishes instead of some meat or poultry,” the USDA wrote. “For example, choosing a salmon steak, a tuna sandwich, bean chili or almonds on a main-dish salad could all increase protein variety.”

“When it comes to seafood, the…message is clear: eat more seafood,” Gavin Gibbons, vice president of communications for the National Fisheries Institute, told SeafoodSource.

SNP is getting the word out about the need to consume more seafood via its extensive public health education campaign. It is also a strategic communications partner of the USDA MyPlate initiative (http://www.choosemyplate.gov/foodgallery-protein-foods).

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