What is a “Healthy Diet”?
The Dietary Guidelines describe a healthy diet as one that
- Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products;
- Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and
- Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.
The recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines and in MyPlate are for the general public over 2 years of age. MyPlate is not a therapeutic diet for any specific health condition. Individuals with a chronic health condition should consult with a health care provider to determine what dietary pattern is appropriate for them.
MyPlate helps individuals use the Dietary Guidelines to:
- Make smart choices from every food group.
- Find balance between food and physical activity.
- Get the most nutrition out of calories.
- Stay within daily calorie needs.
- Enjoy your food, but eat less.
- Avoid oversized portions.
Foods to Increase
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
- Make at least half your grains whole grains.
- Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
Foods to Reduce
- Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals ― and choose the foods with lower numbers.
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
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