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Healthy Weight Center > Nutrition > Pyramid Watch 8/04: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Pyramid Watch: Latest Recommendations (cont.)

For children and adolescents, the recommendation is at least 60 minutes of physical activity most days.

The Skinny on Fat

The panel said the main goals are to keep saturated fat intake below 10 percent of calories, trans fat intake below about one percent of calories and cholesterol intake below 300 milligrams per day. Keeping those low can in turn help keep "bad" cholesterol low and reduce the risk of heart disease.

This will be the first time that the Dietary Guidelines include advice about artery-clogging trans fat (also known as trans fatty acids.) Trans fat will soon be listed on the Nutrition Facts label.

The Skinny on Carbs

The federal advisers poured cold water on popular low-carbohydrate diet plans, saying scientific evidence does not support using the glycemic index, which measures the blood-sugar raising power of a food, as a dieting tool. Rather, the idea is to choose carbs wisely for good health.

In their discussion of carbohydrates, they also touched on added sugars.

"The concern with 'added sugars' is not the sugar itself, but rather many of the foods in which it is found and the amount consumed," they wrote. "Individuals who consume food or beverages that are high in added sugars tend to consume more calories than those who consume low amounts of added sugars, and also tend to consume lower amounts of micronutrients."

In addition, they said studies show an association between drinking sweetened beverages and weight gain, and although more research is needed, cutting down on added sugars, especially sugar-sweetened beverages, may be helpful in weight control and "achieving nutrient adequacy."

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