Maintaining a healthy lifestyle involves many choices. Eating a diet that provides a variety of essential nutrients is among the most important. Nutrients include proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, a healthy eating plan:

  • Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
  • Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
  • Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars
  • Stays within your daily calorie needs

Some Healthy Tips on Healthy Eating:

  • Eat a variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat more chicken, fish, and turkey.
  • Limit red meats such as beef and pork.
  • Limit bacon and sausage.
  • Choose whole grain foods like bread, rice, oats, and pasta.
  • Eat more beans, peas, nuts and nut butters more often.
  • Limit consumption of sugar or sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Include nonfat or low-fat milk and dairy products.
  • Look at My Plate and compare if your diet contains all nutrients.

Check the Nutrition Label for how many calories and servings you need.

Grains: 6-8 servings per day

  • 1 slice of bread is one serving
  • ½ cup cooked rice, pasta, or cereal

Vegetables: 4-5 servings per day

  • 1 cup leafy vegetables
  • ½ cup cut up vegetables
  • ½ cup vegetable juice

Fruits: 4-5 servings per day

  • 1 medium fruit (size of baseball)
  • ½ cup fresh or canned fruit
  • 1/2 cup fruit juice

Dairy Products: 2-3 servings per day

  • 1 cup fat-free/low-fat milk or yogurt
  • 1 ½ oz fat-free/low-fat cheese

Meats: Less than 6 oz per day

  • 3 oz cooked meat or fish

Fats: 2-3 servings per day

  • 1 tsp margarine
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp salad dressing

Nuts/seeds: 4-5 servings per week

  • 1/3 cup nuts
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp seeds
  • 1/2 cup beans

Sweets/sugars: 5 or less servings per week

  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp jam