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