It matters what food and drinks you take each day. Healthy eating includes eating lots of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and low-fat or non-fat dairy products or fortified soy beverages, and lean proteins. The guidelines also emphasize:
- Balancing the food you eat with your activity to reach and stay at a healthy weight.
- Limiting foods high in salt, saturated fat, and added sugar.
- Drinking alcohol in moderation, if at all.
These guidelines promote health and reduce the risk of major chronic diseases. Key recommendations for the general include the following.
- Balance your calorie intake.
- Avoid oversized portions.
- Eat and drink the right amount for you. It can help you make your well-balanced eating plan.
- Control your total calorie intake to manage your weight. For people who are overweight, this means eating fewer calories from foods and drinks.
- Prevent and decrease overweight and obesity through healthy eating and physical activity.
- Increase your physical activity and lessen the time you are not moving.
- Eat sufficient calories during each stage of life like childhood, adolescence, adulthood, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and older age.
Foods To Increase
- Make half your plate vegetables or fruits.
- Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk.
- Choose foods that provide more dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin D, and calcium.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Eat at least half of all grains as whole grains, replacing refined grains with whole grains.
- Eat more fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products.
- Eat different vegetables, especially red, dark-green, and orange vegetables, peas, and beans. Eat more whole fruits instead of drinking juice.
- Replace protein foods that are higher in solid fats with choices that are lower in solid fats and calories and are sources of oils.
- Replace some meat and poultry with seafood.
- Use oils to replace solid fats if possible.
For Women Who Are Pregnant Or Breastfeeding:
- Eat 8 to 12 ounces of seafood a week. Change the types of seafood you eat.
- If you are pregnant, take a prenatal supplement as recommended by your doctor.
For People 50 Years And Older:
- Eat foods fortified with vitamin B12, such as fortified cereals.
FOODS TO REDUCE
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
- Compare sodium in foods like bread, soup, and frozen meals and choose the foods with lower numbers.
- Reduce calories from saturated fats to less than 10% of total calories by replacing them with unsaturated fats.
- Lessen daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg.
- Limit trans fats, which are in partially hydrogenated oils and other solid fats.
- Reduce the intake of calories from added sugar to less than 10% of total calories.
- If you drink alcohol, drink it in moderation up to one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.
- Limit foods that contain refined grains, especially refined grain foods that contain sodium, added sugars, or solid fats.
HEALTHY EATING PATTERNS
- Choose a type of eating that gives you enough nutrition but not too many calories.
- Remember to count the calories in what you drink.
- To decrease the risk of foodborne illness, follow food safety recommendations when preparing and eating foods.