Federal Dietary Policies Are an Unsteady Diet of Nothing

This post originally appeared on Reason.com and is reposted with permission.

This week, ending decades of confusing and often-contradictory dietary advice, the federal government finally issued its long-awaited Dietary Guidelines.

The guidelines urge Americans to avoid "tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, or eggplants.... [because t]hey cause inflammation. What else? No coffee. No caffeine. No fungus. No dairy."

Oh, wait. Nevermind. That was Tom Brady's nutritionist, Allen Campbell, talking this week about what he cooks up for Tom, his supermodel wife, Gisele, and their family.

Instead, the new federal Dietary Guidelines, which the federal government updates every several years as "an important resource to help our Nation reach its highest standard of health," urge all Americans to adopt a healthier diet.

What does that mean, exactly? The definition of a healthy diet appears to be much like the date on which Easter falls: it's a moveable feast.

The federal government gives caffeine the go-ahead in the most recent Dietary Guidelines. Photo Credit: 
Connie Ma via Flickr.

Cholesterol had long been painted as a villain in the federal guidelines. No longer. Coffee was of questionable merit. It, too, now gets the green light.

In their place, sugar and protein—the latter a surprise to many—have emerged as areas of concern.

Does this mean cholesterol and coffee are good, and that protein and sugar are bad? Maybe so. Maybe not. It depends.

Continue reading the full post on Reason.com.