Dietary Guidelines Consumer Brochure
Let's Eat for the Health of It!
Start by choosing one or more tips to help you...
Build a healthy plate
Before you eat, think about what goes on your plate or in your cup or bowl. Foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean protein foods contain the nutrients you need without too many calories. Try some of these options.
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
- Switch to skim or 1% milk.
- Make at least half your grains whole.
- Vary your protein food choices.
- Keep your food safe to eat - learn more at www.FoodSafety.gov.
Cut back on foods high in solid fats, added sugars, and salt
Many people eat foods with too much solid fats, added sugars, and salt (sodium). Added sugars and fats load foods with extra calories you don't need. Too much sodium may increase your blood pressure.
- Choose foods and drinks with little or no added sugars.
- Look out for salt (sodium) in foods you buy - it all adds up.
- Eat fewer foods that are high in solid fats.
Eat the right amount of calories for you
Everyone has a personal calorie limit. Staying within yours can help you get to or maintain a healthy weight. People who are successful at managing their weight have found ways to keep track of how much they eat in a day, even if they don't count every calorie.
- Enjoy your food, but eat less.
- Cook more often at home, where you are in control of what's in your food.
- When eating out, choose lower calorie menu options.
- Write down what you eat to keep track of how much you eat.
- If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so sensibly - limit to 1 drink a day for women or to 2 drinks a day for men.
Be physically active your way
Pick activities that you like and start by doing what you can, at least 10 minutes at a time. Every bit adds up, and the health benefits increase as you spend more time being active.
Note to parents: What you eat and drink and your level of physical activity are important for your own health, and also for your children's health.
You are your children's most important role model. Your children pay attention to what you do more than what you say.
You can do a lot to help your children develop healthy habits for life by providing and eating healthy meals and snacks. For example, don't just tell your children to eat their vegetables - show them that you eat and enjoy vegetables every day.