New Survey Reveals How Registered Dietitians View New Dietary Guidelines
BROOMFIELD, Colo., Jan. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The new Dietary Guidelines for Americans released today by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) provide advice on how good dietary habits can promote health and reduce risk for major chronic diseases. But what do Registered Dietitians – those on the frontlines educating Americans about living a healthy lifestyle – think about the new recommendations?
A new survey(1) sponsored by SilkÃ‚® reveals that, while a plant-based diet is emphasized in the new Guidelines, 61 percent of dietitians believe Americans don’t understand what a plant-based diet is. This could pose a major obstacle to combating obesity and related illnesses because 85 percent of dietitians believe the Guidelines will only be effective if consumers implement them in their daily diets.
Dietitians believe it is essential that consumers understand that a plant-based diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. The vast majority of those surveyed (87 percent) say they promote a plant-based diet to more than half of their patients and clients (58 percent). The reasons dietitians cited for their recommendations include that plant-based diets are:
- More nutrient-rich vs. an animal-based diet (70 percent)
- Sustainable and environmentally-friendly (40 percent)
- Cost effective (29 percent)
“Most Americans think ‘eat more vegetables’ when they hear ‘plant-based.’ In fact, they’d be surprised to know that great-tasting foods like soymilk, almond milk and coconut milk count as a way to get more plant-based foods into your diet,” said Andrea Carrothers, MS, RD, nutrition communication manager at WhiteWave Foods. “Seventy-seven (77) percent of dietitians agree that soymilk is nutritionally comparable to cow’s milk while also helping consumers build a more plant-based diet.”
Dietitians believe that barriers to incorporating a plant-based diet include consumers viewing them as not as flavorful or tasty (66 percent), not having a clear definition of what a plant-based diet is (44 percent), and thinking plant-based foods are hard to prepare (33 percent) or costly (29 percent).
The good news is that there are more options than ever before when it comes to plant-based nutrition. Silk has long been known for its creamy and delicious soymilk and has recently begun expanding its offerings of plant-based alternatives to dairy milk. Last year the brand introduced Silk Pure Almond almondmilk, and this month it’s rolling out Silk Pure Coconut coconutmilk. All Silk products are plant-based and contain no dairy, no lactose and no cholesterol. Most dietitians (77 percent) say that non-dairy milk alternatives, such as soymilk, are comparable to dairy in helping individuals meet nutrient-needs for protein, calcium and vitamins A, D and B12.
Silk was founded in 1996 on a promise to make the world a healthier place. We began by bringing soymilk mainstream, allowing more people everywhere to enjoy soy’s wholesome, natural plant-based nutrition. We recently introduced almondmilk and coconutmilk as the next step in our proud tradition of good health and great taste. For more information, visit www.silksoymilk.com, www.silkpurealmond.com or www.silkpurecoconut.com.
(1) Survey fielded online via Zoomerang to nationally representative sample of 1,000 dietitians between December 21, 2010 and January 3, 2011 (n=323).