Podcast Episode 167: An Inside Look at the 2020 Dietary Guidelines – Dr. Heather Leidy

Dec 15, 2020

This podcast episode is a collaboration between Sound Bites® and Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff®. As a compensated member of the Beef Expert Bureau, on behalf of the Beef Checkoff®, my role is to share the science and support for beef’s role in a healthy diet. As always, opinions are my own. We thank Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff® for their support of the podcast.


 An Inside Look at the 2020 Dietary Guidelines

The United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Health and Human Services update the Dietary Guidelines for Americans every five years. These guidelines serve as a source of guidance to inform food and nutrition programs and initiatives. They also support the development of science-based nutrition education messages and consumer materials for the general public.

How do we develop a healthy eating pattern that Americans can follow? From my years of protein research, It does seem that when you give people a plant-based diet that also includes healthy proteins you do see compliance with most people and improvements in health and well-being.”

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which includes nationally recognized scientific experts in nutrition and medicine, reviews scientific evidence on topics and questions identified by USDA and HHS. The product of the Committee’s work is a scientific report that is provided to the Secretaries of Agriculture and Health and Human Services. USDA and HHS take this report into consideration, along with input from federal agencies and the public, as they develop the revised guidelines.

Tune into this episode to learn about:

  • the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee process and scientific report
  • what aspects were new or different in this year’s report
  • what the report addressed regarding nutrient density, protein quality, added sugars, alcohol and eating frequency
  • how the pandemic might affect food and nutrition habits
  • insight on how to improve the research process and how to put the research into practice

Although a plant-based diet is recommended for overall health, the incorporation of lean animal proteins are a vital part of a diet designed to optimize health and well-being.”

Heather Leidy, MS, PhD

Podcast Episode 167: An Inside Look at the 2020 Dietary Guidelines – Dr. Heather Leidy

Dr. Heather J. Leidy is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. She has a joint appointment in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and the Department of Pediatrics-Dell Medical School. She also serves as the Director of the Research Interest Groups through the American Society of Nutrition and as a member of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. Dr. Leidy received her BS in Biology from Shippensburg University and taught junior-high biology in the Pennsylvania public school system for several years. She then went on to complete her MS and PhD in Physiology (with emphasis in exercise endocrinology and metabolism) at Penn State University as well as a Post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Nutrition Science and the Ingestive Behavior Research Center at Purdue University. As a nutritional physiologist, Dr. Leidy examines the effects of dietary protein quantity, quality, and timing of consumption on the metabolic, hormonal, and neural signals that promote satiety, healthy eating behavior, and weight management across the lifespan. This line of research has led to the development of novel dietary strategies for the prevention and/or treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes. She has 60+ original research publications and has given over 100 invited research talks in this area. Her current research focus examines the effects of consuming a high-protein breakfast on satiety, glycemic control, and weight management in overweight young people. Her research has been funded by various foundations, commodity boards, industry partners, and the National Institutes of Health.

Even with a diet that is rich in high quality animal-based protein at 30-35% of calories, the rest of the diet is still a ‘plant-based’ diet.”

Truck Pull Heather Leidy

Dr. Heather Leidy demonstrating a typical event in Strongman



About Dr. Heather Leidy

Dietary Guidelines for Americans

About the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee

Scientific Report of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee

Strength the Field Manual – Book by Dr. Mike Roussell

Feeding Tips for Healthy Infant Growth

Eating in the Early Years E-vent

Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner: Website | Recipes | Cooking |Cuts | Nutrition | Raising Beef

Related Episodes:

The Science of Strength – Podcast Episode #128 with Dr. Mike Roussell

Strength in Action: Food & Fitness – Podcast Episode #129 with Amee Livingston and Lance Pekus

Protein & Exercise: Partners in Successful Aging – Podcast Episode #39 with Dr. Stuart Phillips

The Power of Protein – Podcast Episode #1 with Dr. Doug Paddon-Jones

Functional Foods, Beverages and Supplements: Trends & Insights – Sound Bites Podcast Episode #159 with Dr. Shelley Balanko



Listen to select Sound Bites Podcasts and earn free CEU credits approved by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) for registered dietitian nutritionists and dietetic technicians, registered. Get started!

Get Melissa’s Sound Science Toolkit here!


American Association of Diabetes Educators

Sound Bites is partnering with the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (formerly the American Association of Diabetes Educators)! Stay tuned for updates on the podcast, blog and newsletter!

nternational Food Information Council Logo

Sound Bites is partnering with the International Food Information Council! Stay tuned for updates on the podcast, blog and newsletter!


Music by Dave Birk

Produced by JAG in Detroit Podcasts


Enjoy The Show?




Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Welcome to my podcast where we delve into the science, psychology and strategies behind good food and nutrition.

Listen to the trailer


Sign up for my monthly newsletter and episode eblasts so you never miss an update!

Contact Melissa

podcast selfie

Backstage Pass

Contact Melissa with ideas or suggestions, to be interviewed or for media coaching