Yesterday, January 25, GB HealthWatch announced the release of a new version of the nutrition scoring system in HealthWatch 360, its mobile nutrition app. The San Diego-based digital health and nutritional genomics company’s release now positions HealthWatch 360 to be the first nutrition app that fully aligns with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015.
Developed by molecular nutrition scientists and registered dietitians, the HealthWatch 360 mobile nutrition app generates a daily nutrition score that helps people create their own healthy diets with their favorite foods. A proprietary algorithm ranks the user’s diet quality and nutrition balance, which helps users make better food choices. The updated scoring system includes all the changes recommended by the new dietary guidelines, which were released January 7, 2016.
“We developed a dietary quality assessment algorithm that aligns with the USDA 2015 Dietary Guidelines.” said Christina Troutner, MS, RDN, registered dietitian and nutrition scientist at GB HealthWatch, in a press release.
The new Dietary Guidelines emphasize healthy eating patterns, calorie control, and nutritional balance. With an eye toward preventing diet-related diseases like cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and Type 2 diabetes, the Dietary Guidelines don’t focus on eliminating or promoting specific roods. Rather, they allow for a variety of foods and promote three healthy dietary patterns: Healthy US-Style Food Patterns, Mediterranean, and Vegetarian.
The two major updates to the Dietary Guidelines are that there is now no restriction on dietary cholesterol and added sugars are now limited to less than 10 percent of a person’s total calories. Lifting the dietary cholesterol restriction means that more people can enjoy egg yolks, shellfish, and organ meats, which are excellent sources of choline, retinol, and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids.
“From the genetics point of view, about 30-40 percent of the population have risk variants in their genes that impair their ability to biosynthesize choline, retinol, EPA and/or AA. Eating more cholesterol-rich foods could lower risks of developing metabolic diseases for these people,” said Mendel Roth, PhD, a molecular nutrition scientist at GB HealthWatch, in a press release.
On the other hand, limiting sugars highlights the harmful effects of sugary drinks. These simple carbohydrates, found in other sugary foods, cause spikes in blood glucose levels, hypertriglyceridemia, and Type 2 Diabetes.