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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.


  • 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.


  • 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.